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Chronic myelogenous (or myeloid or myelocytic) leukemia (CML), also known as chronic granulocytic leukemia (CGL), is a cancer of the white blood cells. It is a form of leukemia characterized by the increased and unregulated growth of predominantlymyeloid cells in the bone marrow and the accumulation of these cells in the blood. CML is a clonal bone marrow stem cell disorder in which a proliferation of mature granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils) and their precursors is found. It is a type of myeloproliferative disease associated with a characteristic chromosomal translocation called the Philadelphia chromosome. CML is now largely treated with targeted drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) which have led to dramatically improved long term survival rates since the introduction of the first such agent in 2001. These drugs have revolutionized treatment of this disease and allow most patients to have a good quality of life when compared to the former chemotherapy drugs.
Phases of chronic myeloid leukemia
CML is classified into 3 groups that help predict outlook. Doctors call these groups phases instead of stages. The phases are based mainly on the number of immature white blood cells — myeloblasts (blasts) — that are seen in the blood or bone marrow. Different groups of experts have suggested slightly different cutoffs to define the phases, but a common system (proposed by the World Health Organization) is described below. Chronic phase :Patients in this phase typically have less than 10% blasts in their blood or bone marrow samples. These patients usually have fairly mild symptoms (if any) and usually respond to standard treatments. Most patients are diagnosed in the chronic phase.
Accelerated phase : Patients are considered to be in accelerated phase if any of the following are true:
•The bone marrow or blood samples have more than 10% but fewer than 20% blasts
•High blood basophil count (basophils making up at least 20% of the white blood cells)
•High white blood cell counts that do not go down with treatment
•Very high or very low platelet counts that are not caused by treatment
•New chromosome changes in the leukemia cells
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Symptoms of Chronic myelogenous (or myeloid or myelocytic) leukemia
CML develops slowly and many people don’t have symptoms in the early stages. It’s often discovered by chance when a blood test is done for another reason, such as before an operation or as part of a routine health check. If there are symptoms in the early stages of CML, they develop gradually and are usually mild. They tend to be non-specific and can easily be confused with the symptoms of more common illnesses, such as flu.
Chronic myeloid leukaemia diagnosis
Chest x-ray:A chest x-ray may be taken to check your heart and lungs are healthy.
Ultrasound scan: An ultrasound scan may be done to see if your liver and spleen are enlarged. Ultrasound uses sound waves to build up a picture of the inside of the body. It’s a painless test and only takes a few minutes.
1. 16th Annual John Goldman Conference on Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: Biology and Therapy
Associations & Societies
1. International Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Foundation
2. CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia) Society of Canada
Major companies are GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, CSC Pharmaceuticals, Crucell Products, Novartis Vaccines, Pfizer and many more which are actively participating in the drug manufacturing for the cure of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia.
This page will be updated regularly.
This page was last updated on 11th Oct, 2014
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