Leukemia is a malignant disease (cancer) of the bone marrow and blood. It is characterized by the accumulation of blood cells. Leukemia has four different categories; myelogenous or lymphocytic. Acute Myelogenous (AML), Acute Lymphocytic (ALL), Chronic Myelogenous (CML), Chronic Lymphocytic (CLL).
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
CML starts with a change to a single stem cell. About 5,050 people in the United States
are expected to be diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) each year (2009).
It is estimated that approximately 22,475 people in the United States are currently living with CML
(SEER, National Cancer Institute, 2009).
Three CML drugs (Gleevec®, Sprycel® and Tasinga®) have been approved since 2001.
Other new treatments are being studied in clinical trials. Progress toward a cure is under way
and the number of people with CML who are living well today continues to grow.
CML patients have what is called the "Philadelphia Chromosome" (Ph chromosome).
Chromosomes are structures in the cells that contain genes. Every cell with a nucleus has chromosomes. Genes give instructions to the cells. The Ph chromosome is made when a piece of chromosome
22 breaks off and attaches to the end of chromosome 9. A piece of chromosome 9 also breaks off and attaches to the end of chromosome 22. The break on chromosome 9 involves a gene called Abl.
The break on chromosome 22 involves a gene called Bcr. The Bcr and Abl genes combine to make
the CML-causing gene called the Bcr-Abl cancer gene. CML has three phases, chronic, accelerated & blast crisis. For this and more information, please visit The Leukemia & Lymphoma website, www.lls.org.
The above information was compiled from http://www.lls.org/
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