Chronic myeloid leukaemia

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Chronic myelogenous or myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a type of blood cancer that affects about 1-2 individuals in 100,000 globally. This disease is characterised by an increased number of white blood cells in the blood and bone marrow and has three phases, the chronic, the accelerate and the blast phase. In the last phase, the blasts are more aggressive and they act like in AML (acute myelogenous leukaemia). In 95% of the cases, patients have the Philadelphia chromosome which results from the transfer of a part of chromosome 9 in chromosome 22[1]. This translocation leads to the generation of the hybrid gene BCR-ABL. Until 2001, CML was 'a death sentence' and the only possible cure was the bone marrow transplant. Nowadays, there are several drugs called TKIs (tyrosine kinase inhibitors), like Imatinib, Nilotinib, Bosutinib, Dasatinib and Ponatinib, which can treat the disease and they give to the most of the patients the possibility of having a normal and long life. Although these drugs are very effective in maintaining the patients in the chronic phase of the disease, they cannot cure CML[2].

References

  1. American Cancer Society. Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. 2018 [cited 19/6/18]; Available from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/chronic-myeloid-leukemia/about/what-is-cml.html#written_by
  2. NHS. Chronic myeloid leukaemia. 2016 [cited 9/9/16]; Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-myeloid-leukaemia/treatment/
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