In this study, we aimed to evaluate the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of zoledronic acid on K562 chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells and to examine the roles of STAT genes on zoledronic acid-induced apoptosis. The results showed that zoledronic acid decreased proliferation, and induced apoptosis in K562 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. mRNA and protein levels of STAT3, -5A and -5B genes were significantly reduced in zoledronic acid-treated K562 cells. These data indicated that STAT inhibition by zoledronic acid may be therapeutic in CML patients following the confirmation with clinical studies. (C) 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.