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Leukemia is a blood cancer that develops in early blood-forming cells. There are four main types of leukemia – acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) – a rare form of leukemia – is a result of a genetic mutation that takes place in early, immature versions of myeloid cells, which form red blood cells, platelets and most types of white blood cells. 1
Subsequently, an abnormal gene called BCR-ABL1 forms, turning the damaged cell into a CML cell.1 CML typically progresses slowly through phases – the disease is most often diagnosed in chronic-phase (CP), but can move into accelerated-phase (AP) and blast-phase (BP) due to a number of factors. Approximately 90% of patients are diagnosed in CP-CML, but CML can progress to AP or BP, which are fast-growing and hard to treat. 2
Tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with leukemia each year, but only about 9,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with CML each year. 3
With five BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) approved in the United States for the treatment of CP-CML, it is generally thought to be a manageable disease; however, if an early response to treatment is not achieved, outcomes are poor. 4 Even with available CML treatments, approximately 30% of patients do not survive five years. 5 This sobering statistic points to areas where improved care is needed.
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1 American Cancer Society. What Is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia? https://www.cancer.org/cancer/chronic-myeloid-leukemia/about/what-is-cml.html. Accessed May 1, 2020. 2 Cancer.net. Leukemia – Chronic Myeloid – CML: Phases. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/leukemia-chronic-myeloid-cml/phases. Accessed January 2021. 3American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/chronic-myeloid-leukemia/about/statistics.html. Accessed April 2020. Cancer.net. Leukemia - Chronic Myeloid - CML: Types of Treatment. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/leukemia-chronic-myeloid-cml/types-treatment. Accessed January 2021. 4 SEER Cancer Stat Facts. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD. Available at: https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/cmyl.html Accessed May 2021. 5 SEER Cancer Stat Facts. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD. Available at: https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/cmyl.html Accessed May 2021.