Ph+ CML Monitoring
How is Ph+ CML monitored?
Your healthcare provider may perform tests of your blood and bone marrow at various time points after starting treatment. These tests may be scheduled at 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and beyond. Your testing schedule (how often you will have tests performed in the future) will be determined by your healthcare provider.
BCR-ABL: an abnormal protein that triggers overproduction of damaged white blood cells, causing leukemia.
Hematologic test: test that can detect the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood.Philadelphia chromosome (Ph chromosome): the chromosome abnormality that causes CML; when present, it can lead to the overproduction of white blood cells.
Platelets: blood cells that help control bleeding; when platelet levels are lower than normal, it is called thrombocytopenia.
Red blood cells: blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of the body; when red blood cell levels are lower than normal, it is called anemia.
White blood cells: blood cells that help fight infections; when the level of a certain type of white blood cell is lower than normal, it is called neutropenia.
Why your treatment milestones matter
In Ph+ CML, treatment results are called “milestones.” Your doctor uses treatment milestones to see how you're responding to your treatment plan.
Ph+ CML is initially a fairly slow-growing cancer, but can change into a fast-growing cancer over time. Many doctors consider it more like a marathon than a sprint. Therefore, your doctor may set milestones along the way. Meeting these milestones informs him or her of your progress.
For many patients, it's possible to treat Ph+ CML, which is measured by the amount of BCR-ABL1 in the blood. Your doctor will check your levels regularly.
With every milestone you reach, the focus will be on your BCR-ABL1 level, and possibly lowering it even more.
How taking medication helps you achieve milestones
An important thing you can do is take your SPRYCEL dose every day, as directed by your doctor. So make it part of your daily routine.
Why is ongoing testing and monitoring important?
Ongoing testing and monitoring is very important to help you and your doctor understand if your Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) is being controlled appropriately over the long term. The goal of testing is to determine if your blood counts are improving and the number of leukemia cells is decreasing. These tests can also tell your doctor whether the disease may be resistant to your medicine.
A complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) is an important treatment milestone that means there are no Ph+ cells detected within your blood or bone marrow sample. If you achieve and maintain a CCyR, this means your Ph+ CML is responding to your medicine. It is important to remember that achieving a CCyR does not mean that your Ph+ CML is cured, only that leukemia cells can't be detected. It is important to continue taking your medication as directed.
If your disease is resistant to SPRYCEL and you are not able to achieve or maintain a CCyR, your doctor may decide to change your treatment.