Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 80–85 | Cite as

Quality of Life and Long-Term Therapy in Patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

  • Kathryn E. Flynn
  • Ehab Atallah
Chronic Myeloid Leukemias (J Pinilla-Ibarz, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Chronic Myeloid Leukemias


Since the development of imatinib and other tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), the prognosis for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has markedly improved, such that most patients diagnosed with CML can now expect to live with their disease rather than die from it. However, most patients will require long-term treatment, which has deleterious effects on health-related quality of life. We review recent literature on drug-related adverse effects, long-term medication adherence, limitations to fertility and pregnancy, effects on cognitive function, ability to work, financial toxicity, pediatric populations, and treatment discontinuation. While patients with CML are fortunate to have excellent therapies available to control their disease, many are unable to lead normal lives, which challenges the notion that research is no longer needed in CML. Curing CML, i.e., no detectable disease and no need for daily medications, should remain the ultimate goal.


Chronic myeloid leukemias Tyrosine kinase inhibitors Therapy Quality of life 



Drs Flynn and Atallah were supported by grant R01 CA184798 from the National Cancer Institute. Dr Flynn was supported in part by the Research and Education Program Fund, a component of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Kathryn E. Flynn declares no potential conflicts of interest.

Ehab Atallah reports personal fees from BMS and Pfizer.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Center for Patient Care and Outcomes ResearchMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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