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Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: The Complexities of Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Modern Therapeutic Approaches

Fitriani Farhunnisa Anggraini*

Department of Medicine, Isfahan University of Technology, Khomeyni Shahr, Iran

*Corresponding Author:
Fitriani Farhunnisa Anggraini
Department of Medicine, Isfahan University of Technology, Khomeyni Shahr, Iran.

Received: 28-Aug-2023, Manuscript No. JCMCS -23-117879; Editor assigned: 01-Sep-2023, Pre QC No. JCMCS -23-117879(PQ); Reviewed: 14-Sep-2023, QC No. JCMCS -23-117879; Revised: 21-Sep-2023, Manuscript No. JCMCS -23-117879(R); Published: 28-Sep-2023, DOI: 10.4172/J Clin Med Case Stud.8.3.001.

Citation: Anggraini F F. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: The Complexities of Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Modern Therapeutic Approaches . J Clin Med Case Stud. 2023;8:001.

Copyright: © 2023 Anggraini F F. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Constant Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), otherwise called persistent myeloid leukemia, is a disease of the white platelets. It is a type of leukemia portrayed by the expanded and unregulated development of myeloid cells in the bone marrow and the gathering of these phones in the blood. CML is a clonal bone marrow undifferentiated cell problem wherein a multiplication of mature granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils) and their forerunners is found; trademark expansion in basophils is clinically important. It is a kind of myeloproliferative neoplasm related with a trademark chromosomal movement called the Philadelphia chromosome.

CML is to a great extent treated with designated drugs called Tyrosine-Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) which have prompted decisively further developed long haul endurance rates beginning around 2001. These medications have changed treatment of this sickness and permit most patients to have a decent personal satisfaction when contrasted with the previous chemotherapy drugs. In Western nations, CML represents 15-25% of generally grown-up leukemias and 14% of leukemias by and large (counting the pediatric populace, where CML is more uncommon).


Genetic abnormality (Philadelphia chromosome): The hallmark of CML is the presence of a genetic abnormality known as the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph chromosome). This chromosomal aberration results from a translocation of genetic material between chromosomes 9 and 22, leading to the fusion of two genes: Breakpoint Cluster Region (BCR )and Abelson Murine Leukemia Viral Oncogene Homolog 1 (ABL1). This fusion gene, BCR-ABL1, produces a unique protein with tyrosine kinase activity.

Tyrosine kinase activity: The BCR-ABL1 fusion protein has constitutive tyrosine kinase activity. This means it can continuously activate signaling pathways that promote cell growth and inhibit apoptosis (cell death). This unchecked kinase activity is a key driver of CML pathogenesis, as it leads to uncontrolled proliferation of myeloid cells.

Molecular pathways: BCR-ABL1 activates various downstream molecular pathways, including the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways. These pathways play essential roles in cell survival, growth, and differentiation. Their dysregulation contributes to the excessive production of myeloid cells and the failure of normal regulation mechanisms.

Stem cell involvement: CML originates in hematopoietic stem cells, which give rise to all blood cell types. The presence of the BCR-ABL1 fusion gene in these stem cells ensures that the abnormality is perpetuated as these cells differentiate into mature blood cells, including granulocytes. This leads to an overproduction of granulocytes, a hallmark of CML.

Clinical phases: CML typically progresses through three clinical phases: chronic, accelerated, and blast phase. The chronic phase is often asymptomatic or mild, but as the disease advances, it becomes more aggressive and difficult to treat. The blast phase is characterized by the proliferation of immature, blast cells and is often fatal if not treated.


Diagnosis of CML typically involves several key steps:

Blood tests: A routine blood test may reveal an elevated white blood cell count, which can be an initial indicator of CML. The presence of the Philadelphia chromosome or the BCR-ABL1 fusion gene can be confirmed through specialized laboratory tests, such as Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

Bone marrow biopsy: A bone marrow biopsy is often performed to assess the extent of involvement in the bone marrow and to confirm the diagnosis of CML. It also provides valuable information about the disease's stage and progression.

Modern therapeutic approaches

Modern therapeutic approaches for CML have significantly improved the prognosis for patients. The primary treatment options include:

Targeted therapy: Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) are the mainstay of CML treatment. These drugs, such as imatinib (Gleevec), dasatinib (Sprycel), and nilotinib (Tasigna), specifically target the BCR-ABL1 fusion protein, inhibiting its activity and controlling the growth of leukemia cells. Patients typically take TKIs orally, and they have revolutionized CML management, often leading to long-term remission.

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT): In some cases, when TKIs are not effective or when advanced disease stages are reached, HSCT may be considered. This procedure involves replacing the patient's bone marrow with healthy donor stem cells. It can be curative but is associated with more significant risks and complications.

Monitoring: Regular monitoring of CML patients is essential to track their response to treatment and adjust therapy as needed. This is typically done through blood tests, bone marrow examinations, and molecular testing to assess the levels of the BCR-ABL1 transcript.


Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is a leukemia subtype marked by the uncontrolled proliferation of myeloid cells due to the Philadelphia chromosome and BCR-ABL1 fusion protein. It progresses through chronic, accelerated, and blast phases, each with distinct clinical complexities. Modern therapeutic approaches revolve around Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs), notably Imatinib, Dasatinib, and Nilotinib, achieving long-term remissions and improved patient quality of life. Second- and third-generation TKIs address resistance issues. Stem cell transplantation is an option in advanced or resistant cases, albeit with risks. Ongoing clinical trials and research aim to enhance CML therapy. Comprehensive patient care, side effect management, psychological support, and education are integral. Regular monitoring and MRD assessment guide treatment decisions. Overall, CML treatment advancements have improved prognosis and offer hope for a better quality of life and, in some cases, treatment-free remission, promising a brighter future for CML management.