bone marrow and spilling over into the blood.
In time, the cells can also settle in other parts of the body, including the spleen. CML is a fairly slow-growing leukemia, but it can change into a fast-growing acute leukemia that’s hard to treat.
RELATED: Lifestyle Changes After Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) Treatment
What are the treatments?
Although there are a myriad of treatments, options for people with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) depend on the phase of their disease (chronic, accelerated, or blast phase), their age, other prognostic factors, and the availability of a stem cell donor with matching tissue type.
The standard treatment for chronic phase CML is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) like imatinib (Gleevec), nilotinib (Tasigna), dasatinib (Sprycel), or bosutinib (Bosulif).
If the first drug stops working or it never really worked well at all, the dose may be increased or another TKI might be tried.
Ponatinib (Iclusig) is an option after all of the other TKIs have been tried or if the leukemia cells later develop the T315I mutation.
Switching to another TKI is also an option if a person can’t take the first drug because of side effects.
Rarely, people in chronic phase may be treated with an allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT). This treatment is discussed in detail in Stem Cell Transplant for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.