Chronic myelogenous leukemia (also called CML or
chronic granulocytic leukemia) is a
slowly progressing blood and bone marrow disease that usually occurs during or after middle age, and rarely occurs in children. Normally, the body produces bone marrowstem cells (immature cells) that develop into mature bloodcells.
There are 3 types of mature blood cells:
In CML, the body tells too many bone marrow stem cells to develop into a type of white blood cell called granulocytes. Some of these bone marrow stem cells never become mature white blood cells. These are called blasts. Over time, the granulocytes and blasts crowd out the red blood cells and platelets in the bone marrow.
This summary is about chronic myelogenous leukemia. Refer to the
following PDQ summaries for more information about leukemia:
These and other symptoms may be caused by CML. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems
Sometimes CML does not cause any symptoms at all.
Every cell in the body contains DNA (genetic material) that determines how the cell looks and acts. DNA is contained inside chromosomes. In CML, part of the DNA from one chromosome moves to another chromosome. This change is called the “Philadelphia chromosome.” It results in the bone marrow making an enzyme, called tyrosine kinase, that causes too many stem cells to develop into white blood cells (granulocytes or blasts).
The Philadelphia chromosome is not passed from parent to child.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
The prognosis (chance
of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
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