What is chronic myeloid leukemia?
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is also called chronic myelogenous leukemia, chronic granulocytic leukemia and chronic myelocytic leukemia. It belongs to one of four major types of leukemia.
CML has been transformed from a life-threating disease into a manageable disease since the introduction of tyrosline kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy in 2001.
In CML, a genetic change takes place in an immature version of myeloid cells. This change forms an abnormal gene called BCR-ABL, turning the cells into CML cells.
CML occurs mostly in adults, very rarely occurs in children.
What are the symptoms of CML?
According to different diagnosis stages, symptoms of CML include:
If diagnosed during chronic stage: signs and symptoms are as follow:
- Elevated white blood cell
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
If diagnosed during accelerated stage: signs and symptoms are as follow:
What are the main treatments for CML ?
The main treatments for CML include:
- Bone marrow transplant or allogeneic stem cell trasplant: The only curative treatments for CML.
- Tyrosine kinase inhibitors
- Myelosuppressive or leukopheresis therapy: Conteract the leukocytosis during early treatment.
- Splenectomy and interferon alfa-2b treatment
For pregnant women with CML, it’s relatively safe to be treated with Interferon-alpha hormones.
How is the prognosis of CML?
Chronis myeloid leukemia has an excellent prognosis in young patients.
The new drugs like tyrosine kinase inhibitors work extremely well in younger patients or CML is still in its chronic phase.
It was found that when treated with imatinib, 5-year-survival rate is more than 95% for CML patients in chronic phase.
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