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Undergone a diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia. Life threatening? Will it come back? Exact cure?

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Practicing since : 2004
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Sir, My Sister XXXXXXX Subramanian has undergone a diagnosis of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. I am attaching her report for your reference. I want to know : 1) Is it Life threatening even after going through medication ( currently under 18 months Medication from the U.S)
2) Is it curable fully or will it again generate in the future
3) Wats the exact cure for this , Type of Medicines to be given & the period of Medication.

Currently She is using a new tablet which is the 1 best medicine available for this CML. I am unaware of the name of the same.
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 2 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I have noted the details provided and reviewed the reports.

I feel that the test results are consistent with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). But I would like to know the 'philadephia chromsome' or PCR for bcr-abl report as well. One of these can confirm the diagnosis of CML.

Probably she is on imatinib (glivec) which is the standard treatment for this condition. She has had a good response so far, as seen on the blood counts and in all probability she will do very well in the future. Currently there is no threat to her life.

However, she needs to continue it lifelong, provided the disease is under control with this medicine. We have to repeat few tests like blood counts, bone marrow cytogenetics and PCR ( polymerase chain reaction) for bcr-abl (blood) time and again to see that she has achieved a complete response and maintaining it.

If at any point, these results show progression of disease, then the drug needs to be changed. There are two other very good drugs availabale, in case need arises.

As of now, this disease is incurable but controllable with medicines. There is 70-80% chance that she will do very well with this drug even after 7-8 years. As Glivec is available for last 10 years only, longer follow-up data is still not available.

Hope this answers your query. I will be available to follow up if you have any other concerns.

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