About chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow in which the body produces cancerous white blood cells. It is a relatively slower-growing cancer that may take years to progress. A person with CML has too many abnormal white blood cells. Most patients find out that they have CML in the early, chronic phase and many will remain in chronic phase for a number of years without progressing to a more advanced phase.
Almost all patients with CML have a chromosomal abnormality known as the Philadelphia chromosome. The Philadelphia chromosome is responsible for the constant production of abnormal white blood cells that are present in CML. The Bcr-Abl protein is a defective protein that plays a key role in Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML. The defective Bcr-Abl protein tells the bone marrow to make more white blood cells than are needed. The general goal of treatment for CML is to reduce the Philadelphia chromosomes to undetectable levels. One treatment option for CML is drug therapies that target the Bcr-Abl protein and prevent disease progression.
Treatment of CML
Targeting the Bcr-Abl protein shows promise in research & development of treatments that may prevent disease progression and improve long-term outcomes for patients living with CML.
Questions to ask your doctor
When you are diagnosed with CML, you may want to ask your doctor questions like these about your diagnosis and treatment plan:
- What type of CML do I have?
- What stage is my CML?
- What are my treatment choices?
- What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
- What are the risks of each treatment?
- What are the side effects of each treatment?
- How will we know if this is working?
- How will each treatment affect my daily life?
- Are there new treatments or clinical trials that I should consider?
- What are the chances of the cancer coming back again?
- What are my chances of being cured?