About CML: A Shareable Guide for Patients, Family and Friends


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About CML: A Shareable Guide for Patients, Family and Friends


Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), also known as chronic myelogenous leukemia, is a type of cancer that starts in certain blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. It typically affects adults but in rare cases affects children, as well.

  • In CML, a genetic change of unknown cause occurs that affects myeloid cells. These are the cells that produce red blood cells, platelets and most types of white cells. The genetic change creates an abnormal gene called BCR-ABL that leads to the creation of CML, cancerous, cells. 
  • CML is a fairly slow-growing leukemia, but in some cases can change to an acute leukemia that grows much faster. 
  • More than 10 years ago, a breakthrough therapy called imatinib, or Gleevec, a pill, became available that has allowed many patients to live normal, full lives with minimal side effects. Since then, several other medicines have become available to allow even more patients to live well. 
  • Research continues in clinical trials to see if medicines used alone or in combination can knock the cancer down to such undetectable levels that some patients can stop all therapy.


CML Support

A diagnosis of CML can be overwhelming for the entire family. Open discussion between family members, health professionals and patients can help ensure the best care. We encourage you to join our community and to check out our brief videos to find the most up-to-date information from leading experts about support, new treatments, clinical trials, communication, financial issues and much more.

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CML Videos and Transcripts

Understanding CML Treatment Approaches

How do a CML diagnosis and a patient's stage guide treatment? Dr. Jorge Cortes, a leading researcher from MD Anderson Cancer Center, reviews CML treatment options.


An Expert’s Review of CML ASH 2015 News

Fresh from the 2015 American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference, Dr. Michael Mauro of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center delves deeply into the world of CML, covering improved treatments and outcomes.


A Changing Paradigm for CML Treatment

CML expert Dr. Giuseppe Saglio joined Patient Power to discuss the changing paradigm for CML treatment.



Kayla Nation: Young Mother with CML Perseveres

Kayla Nation was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer just two months into her pregnancy with her second child. Watch her video...


Lisa Velasco: Managing CML With a Husband’s Strong Support

Learn how managing CML became a family affair...


CML News at ASH 2018: Data From Treatment-Free Remission Studies

What's the latest news in CML treatment-free remission studies at ASH 2018? Watch as CML expert Dr. Michael Savona shares encouraging CML treatment and research developments.


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Page last updated on May 6, 2019