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Treating Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Cheryl-Anne Simoneau
CJON 2013, 17(1), E13-E20 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.E13-E20

The tremendous progress made in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treatment affords patients more options than ever. Five currently available BCR-ABL inhibitors form the mainstay of CML treatment, including first-generation imatinib and more potent second-generation BCR-ABL inhibitors dasatinib and nilotinib, with bosutinib and ponatinib having been recently approved for market inclusion. Studies show that dasatinib and nilotinib exhibit greater efficacy than imatinib in first-line chronic-phase CML (CML-CP), allowing more patients to achieve deeper, more rapid responses associated with improved outcomes. With alternatives to imatinib for first-line CML-CP and the wealth of information (and misinformation) on the Internet, a tremendous need exists for clear, accurate facts to assist patients in making treatment decisions. Patients appreciate the guidance of their oncology nurse in providing disease, treatment, and monitoring information tailored to meet their needs. Oncology nurses who are able to clearly explain emerging data, including the meaning and significance of faster, deeper responses, will be a valuable resource to their patients.

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