Living with CML

Living with CML

Living with CML

Dr. Daniel Vorobiof,
Chief Medical Director at Belong.Life explains:

The swapping
of DNA between the chromosomes leads to the formation of a new oncogene
called BCR-ABL. This oncogene produces the BCR-ABL protein, which is
called a tyrosine kinase. And this protein causes CML cells to grow and
divide out of control, building up in the bone marrow and spilling over into
the blood. As time goes by, the cells could also spread to 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 harder to treat.

 

In a very
small number of CML patients, the leukemia cells have
the BCR-ABL oncogene but not the Philadelphia chromosome.

 

Finally, it
is known that mutations passed on by parents do not cause CML. DNA changes
related to CML occur during the person’s lifetime, rather than having been inherited
before birth.

 

Once the
patient has developed CML and a treatment is selected, monitoring is very
important to see how patients respond to the chosen treatment. Blood counts are
checked often. The blood is also checked with a PCR test to measure the amount
of the BCR-ABL gene. The bone marrow is checked, too, to see if the
Philadelphia chromosome is there. Testing for the BCR-ABL gene or the
Philadelphia chromosome is usually done at diagnosis and thereafter every 3-6
months according to the response achieved.

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The Belong Team This content is provided for your general education and information only. It does not necessarily reflect Belong’s views and opinions. Belong does not endorse or support any specific product, service or treatment.