In the chronic phase the aim of treatment is usually to control the condition, often for several years, and to prevent symptoms of the disease so that your quality of life is good.
The main treatment of chronic phase CML is a drug called imatinib| (Glivec). Glivec is given as capsules. As an alternative some people are treated with interferon alpha|, which is given as an injection under the skin, or sometimes chemotherapy| tablets.
High-dose treatment with a stem cell transplant| may be a suitable treatment for some people and can cure the leukaemia for some. This is more likely to be an option for younger people who have a brother or sister whose stem cells are a close match to their own. Other treatments may be given to deal with conditions which may happen as a result of CML. When you are first diagnosed, your white blood cell count may be very high. This can occasionally lead to a clogging-up of blood vessels which may cause some physical problems. However, it can be treated by a process of removing the extra white cells from the blood - leukopheresis - (using a machine called a cell separator).
If you have myelofibrosis (scarring of the bone marrow) it is unfortunately not possible to reverse this process, but regular blood transfusions for anaemia, and antibiotics can keep you reasonably well for a long time. Chronic myelogenous leukemia can also be called chronic myeloid leukemia and chronic granulocytic leukemia. Chronic myelogenous leukemia typically affects older adults and rarely occurs in children, though it can occur at any age. About 4,800 people are diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
Chronic Myeloid Luekemia Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a hematopoietic stem cell disorder characterized by leukocytosis with accumulation of all forms of mature and immature granulocytes. It is the commonest type of leukemia seen in India, accounting for 30% of all leukemia cases. The disease follows a biphasic or triphasic course - chronic phase, accelerated phase and blast crisis. Median survival is around 3-5years. The advent of newer modalities of treatment has changed the outlook for these patients. The immature cells fill up the bone marrow and prevent it from making blood cells properly. As the leukaemia cells do not mature, they can't do the work of normal white blood cells, which leads to an increased risk of infection. Because the bone marrow is overcrowded with immature white cells it also can't make enough healthy red cells and platelets. CML usually develops very slowly, which is why it is called ëchronicí myeloid leukaemia. Chronic myeloid leukaemia can occur at any age, but it more commonly affects middle-aged and older people. It is rare in children.