Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
Nomenclature: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, Chronic Myelocytic Leukemia, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, CML, Chronic Granulocytic Leukemia
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is one of the most common types of blood cancer. It is characterized by excess of WBC stem cells in the bone marrow.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the White Blood Cells of the blood and the bone marrow.
Chronic myeloid Leukemia or as popularly known in its abbreviated form – CML, is one of the most common types of leukemia.There are two forms of myeloid leukemia – chronic and acute. The term “Chronic” refers to the CML being a slowly- evolving cancer that may take years to progress unlike the “acute” variety which progresses in a quick manner. “Myeloid” refers to the type of WBC that is produced in an uncontrolled manner.
CML is one of the four types of myeloproliferative diseases, that are associated with the overproduction of blood cells within the bone marrow. The other three myeloproliferative diseases are Agnogenic Myeloid Metaplasia (AMM), Polycythemia Rubra Vera (PRV), and Primary Thrombocythemia (PT)
Normally the bone marrow produces immature stem cells that grow and differentiate into the three blood cells type – the Red Blood Cells (RBC), the White Blood Cells (WBC) and Platelets. These blood cells vary in their morphology and function.
The RBCs carry oxygen and other nutrients to the different body tissues; the WBCs fight off infections and diseases while the platelets are responsible for blood coagulation.
In leukemia, a single WBC stem cell becomes abnormal and undergoes uncontrolled proliferation to manifest as a disease. These leukemic cells can be found in the blood and they course through the body, causing enlargement of the spleen, liver and other organs. There are different types of leukemia depending on the type of WBC they arise from and on the stages that these cells pass through as they mature.
CML is characterized by high levels of abnormal myelocytes (granulocytes) that will never fully mature. These immature white blood cells are labeled myeloid blasts, or myeloblasts. The overproduction of myeloid blasts along with the production of abnormal red blood cells and platelets leaves little room for the production of normal cells.