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For people with chronic myelogenous leukemia, treatment options may include chemotherapy, biological therapy, and high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant. A new type of cancer drug may be used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia by blocking the enzyme, tyrosine kinase, which causes stem cells to develop into more white blood cells (granulocytes or blasts) than the body needs. Other chronic myelogenous leukemia treatment options include donor lymphocyte infusion and surgery.

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Treatment: An Introduction

Chronic myelogenous leukemia treatment options include:
  • Chemotherapy
  • Other drug therapy
  • Biological therapy
  • High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant
  • Donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI)
  • Surgery.
Choosing the most appropriate chronic myelogenous leukemia treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, the family, and the healthcare team.
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Treatment Involving Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a chronic myelogenous leukemia treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). The way the chemotherapy is administered will depend on the type and phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia that is being treated.
Other Drug Therapy Used for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Treatment
Imatinib (Gleevec®) is a new type of cancer drug, called a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It blocks the enzyme, tyrosine kinase, which causes stem cells to develop into more white blood cells (granulocytes or blasts) than the body needs.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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