Treatments for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), also referred to as chronic granulocytic leukemia or chronic myelogenous leukemia, is a relatively rare form of bone marrow cancer. While it can potentially impact individuals of any age, it is most frequently diagnosed in middle-aged men, affecting a specific category of white blood cells known as myeloid cells. The excess production of immature myeloid cells, known as blasts, disrupts the bone marrow’s ability to generate various types of healthy blood cells.
Factors that Affect Treatment and Prognosis of CML
There are several treatment options you should be aware of when meeting with your healthcare provider for battling chronic myeloid leukemia. It’s important to ensure that your healthcare team is multidisciplinary, meaning that it not only comprises your primary care physician, but also a hematologist, physician assistants, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, financial counselors and others.
“Standard of care” refers to the best treatments known for remedying CML, and you may be offered, or even encouraged, to participate in clinical trials. Clinical trials are research studies that analyze a new approach for treating cancers, entailing new drugs or a combination of treatments.
CML Treatment Options
Treatment by CML Phase
The distinguished team of specialists at Sheba employs state-of-the-art technology to seamlessly integrate and comprehensively assess all diagnostic test results, ensuring swift and precise cancer diagnosis and treatment. Your treatment options depend on the specific type of leukemia you have and the current stage of its progression. These factors will determine your recommended treatment plan by your healthcare team.
Chronic Phase Treatment
As this is a slow moving phase in CML, the goal here would be to mitigate any symptoms you may be experiencing with the end goal being to get rid of cells with the Ph chromosomes to slow down disease progression and avoid it going into the accelerated or blast phase. For this reason, your physician will recommend the TKI targeted therapy. If your physician recommends a bone marrow transplant, they may suggest the allogeneic option if and when TKI therapy doesn’t seem to work.
Accelerated Phase Treatment
In this phase, the CML is beginning to build up in the body relatively quickly and symptoms that were previously a nonissue may arise. This can also contribute to the treatments not responding as the leukemia cells have proliferated to the point in which the genetic mutations are more challenging to curb. Treatment options in this phase depend on how the patient responded to previous treatments. The same drugs that were previously used may be administered again.
Blast Phase Treatment
Targeted therapy may also be administered in combination with chemotherapy, similar to patients being treated for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). For those in the blast phase, TKI efficacy may be short-term but can help curb the CML while a bone marrow transplant is being arranged. If and when targeted therapy fails to help, your doctor may recommend you enter a clinical trial.
Sheba provides a comprehensive, all-encompassing approach to medical care, ensuring that you and your family do not face these challenging times alone. Confronting cancer, from initial diagnosis to treatment, can be an immensely daunting journey. Seeking assistance may seem like an alarming endeavor, given the emotional burden it can entail. It’s entirely normal to be emotionally affected, and having someone readily available to lend an ear and engage in discussions about your worries is crucial for your wellbeing.
In addition to pharmaceutical interventions, Sheba places significant emphasis on enhancing the patient’s quality of life. Your healthcare team comprises not only oncologists and hematologists, but also a team of social workers, nutritionists and alternative therapy practitioners. Sheba’s dedicated cadre of experts will navigate you through the entire process, keeping you well-informed about available tests, treatments and what to expect.
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Sheba Medical Center provides innovative, personalized medical care to patients from around the world. We are the largest, most comprehensive hospital in the Middle East and dedicated to providing advanced and compassionate medicine for everyone. We welcome all cases, including the rarest and the most challenging. Our medical teams collaborate to provide the best possible health outcomes. From your initial inquiry through the long-term follow-up care, we are here for you.
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