Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia
According to a new report from the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN), the survival of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia increased significantly in recent years compared to the 1990s.
Researchers at The Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service made a study outlining the duration of survival of patients with different types of blood cancers, based on records of persons who have suffered from cancer between 1995 and 2008. This is the first study of its kind in England and was performed using NCIN Haematology Site Specific Clinical Reference Group (SSCRG).
Regarding CML, it was observed that the duration of survival has increased dramatically from 41 per cent to 57 per cent among men and from 38 per cent to 59 per cent among women in the period from 1990 to 2000. This is due primarily to the development of new therapies. Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors (TKIs), namely imatinib (Glivec), which was approved in 2001, is the first-line treatment for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. Dr Robin Ireland, chair of the SSCRG at the NCIN, said it is amazing what difference do new drugs to treat cancer. He added that according to the new report TKIs is a revolutionary treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia. The same optimistic remarks were made by Dr Steven Oliver, Haematological Cancer Epidemiology Lead at NYCRIS and lead author of the report, which said that the duration of survival of these patients has improved considerably. He also said that, due to the development of new-generation TKIs, life expectancy will be even greater.
Chronic myeloid leukemia is a blood cancer that occurs more often in older people. In UK, about 700 cases are diagnosed each year. The causes of this form of leukemia are not fully known although many studies have been made in this regard. It seems that chronic myelogenous leukemia is caused by exposure to ionizing radiation, as many cases were seen in those who were exposed to atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Leukemia is a lymphoproliferative disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth of myeloid cells, that is white blood precursor cells. It should be noted that this form of leukemia is associated with a specific translocation called the Philadelphia translocation, that is a switch between two parts of chromosomes 9 and 22. BCR gene on chromosome 22 fuses to ABL gene on chromosome 9. It result in a tyrosine kinase, called BCR-ABL , which increases cell division and inhibits cellular DNA repair, which promotes genomic instability.