Optimizing Patient Care in Chronic Phase Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia: A Multidisciplinary Approach

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Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is characterized by the presence of the Philadelphia chromosome arising from a reciprocal translocation between chromosomes 9 and 22 [t(9;22)]. This translocation results in the formation of the BCR-ABL fusion gene. The product of this fusion gene, p210, a protein with deregulated tyrosine kinase activity, plays a central role in the pathogenesis of CML. Tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy with small molecule inhibitors of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase has significantly reduced the annual mortality rate among patients with CML. Although most of these patients respond to first-line TKI therapy, the use of TKIs is complicated by the development of resistance or intolerance in some patients, resulting in a loss of response or discontinuation of treatment. Inadequate response to TKI therapy is associated with poor long-term outcome, and the cases of patients with resistance or intolerance should be carefully evaluated for alternative treatment options. This report discusses the challenges associated with the management of newly diagnosed chronic phase CML in a patient with intolerance to multiple TKI therapies.

Correspondence: Hema Sundar, PhD, NCCN, 275 Commerce Drive, Suite 300, Fort Washington, PA. E-mail: sundar@nccn.org.
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