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Definition of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

In chronic leukemia, the proliferating cells are often reached maturity, unlike acute leukemia, which explains the slower spontaneous evolution.

If chronic myeloid leukemia is only 500-700 new cases per year, this is the first cancerous condition in which a genetic defect has been established. This involves chromosomes 9 and 22, which interact to form an abnormal chromosome called the "Philadelphia chromosome." His major risk is the development phase called acute, active and dangerous.

Symptoms of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is usually discovered incidentally because in most cases it does not cause symptoms. It is suspected after a simple blood test ("NFS") showing an abnormal increase in cells.

More than 3000 cases detected per year

According to figures from the National Institute of Health Surveillance, 3224 new cases were diagnosed in 2005 and 58% in humans. More than 1,000 deaths are due to disease, which is chronic lymphocytic leukemia ranked 22nd of all cancer deaths.

Diagnosis of chronic leukemia

Chronic myeloid leukemia is often asymptomatic and is discovered incidentally so. However, an increase in the size of the spleen (splenomegaly), identified on clinical examination or ultrasound to decide whether or not a patient discomfort can be a first symptom. Only the study of the karyotype, that is to say, the chromosomes of cells in the bone marrow, can show the presence of the Philadelphia chromosome and the diagnosis of the disease.

Treatments for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

If the existence of the Philadelphia chromosome has been known for several decades, it was not until the late 90s, with advances in molecular biology, for a specific drug can be developed: imatinib. This is extremely effective because it puts patients in hematologic and cytogenetic remission, which is reflected by the fact that in their bone marrow, there is no longer any cell harboring the Philadelphia chromosome.

On the other hand, it simply administers orally and has exceptional tolerance does not cause nausea or vomiting, or hair loss. Serious side effects only appear in less than 1% of patients.

We note some resistance to this drug. New molecules have been developed such as dasatinib or nilotinib. In some cases, especially in younger patients for whom treatment response is not optimal, it may still be appropriate to use a transplant of hematopoietic stem cells.

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