THE ADVANCES IN CHRONIC MYELOID LEUKAMIA ARE AMAZING
Elías is 56 years old and four years ago he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia during a routine check-up. "I had no symptoms but I hadn't had a check-up for a while," explains Elías, "and whack! Leukaemia."
Elías is checked every six months to control minimum residual disease* but he's perfect. "There's no news" says Dr Tomás Navarro, his haematologist. He's been taking Imatinib and he feels fine. "At first I had muscular pains, but not anymore. I was very scared and to be honest when I arrived at this floor of the hospital and saw people who were ill, with no hair, I was terror-stricken but I'm lucky I haven't had to go through an aggressive treatment like a transplant**", says Elías. His wife Montse, who is sitting beside him, nods calmly.
Dr Navarro explains that up until recently chronic myeloid leukemia patients needed a transplant. The results were very bad and only 10% of patients were cured with interferon. Now, thanks to Glivic, positive response to treatment is around 80%. The progress we've witnessed in the last 10 years is amazing.
*Minimal residual disease refers to a small amount of malignant cells that remain after cancer-eradication treatment. That is to say, the disease remains below the detectable level using conventional techniques.
**Unfortunately this fantastic drug is only effective in chronic myeloid leukaemia; other types of leukaemia cannot benefit from its effect.
Help people like Elías by becoming a member of the cure for leukaemia and haematological malignacies, HERE. You will help us to continue our research so that one day these diseases will be 100% curable. With only a little you can do so much. Thank you!
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