Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is the only proven curative treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). More allogeneic transplants have been performed for CML and more cures achieved than for any other disease. Paradoxically, while the results of transplantation in CML appear to be improving over the last several years, the number of allogeneic transplants for CML has decreased over the same period. This decrease has occurred as an increasing proportion of patients are placed on imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) as initial treatment and as a result of the effectiveness of this agent.

Important questions remain regarding the appropriate timing of allogeneic transplantation in the treatment of CML. First, which patients should undergo transplantation shortly after diagnosis? Secondly, when should patients who initially receive treatment with imatinib to be considered for transplantation? Although most clinicians are familiar with recent clinical studies with imatinib, many are less knowledgeable about the results of recent transplant studies. The following section details the current status of transplantation in CML.

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