I hope that by sharing this story, it will give some of your readers who have experience with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) renewed hope for the future. I would be happy to hear what your thoughts are on this?
Susan is a 62-year-old Buffalo, NY woman who is battling for her life.
"For the last 8 years, Susan has been searching for a treatment that can effectively manage her Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), a blood cancer caused by a genetic defect. When Susan was diagnosed in 2000, she told the doctor that she needed to live long enough to see three things: her daughter graduate from college, both of her children get married and the birth of her grandchildren. These milestones give Susan the will to live and fight for her life.
Susan’s medical journey over the past decade has been long and arduous. She was first diagnosed with overactive bone marrow in 1998. Two years later, when her prescribed therapy regimen failed to manage the issue, she was diagnosed with CML. Susan then attempted to undergo a bone marrow transplant, but never found a matching donor.
From 2001 – 2003, Susan tried two CML treatments. While she initially responded well to both drugs, she eventually stopped responding to treatment altogether. To determine why she was no longer responding to frontline CML treatments, doctors tested Susan for the T315I mutation. This mutation renders tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapies, including Gleevec and Tasigna, useless for patients like Susan. Susan’s health rapidly deteriorated as her CML progressed.
In February 2007, Susan regained hope when she enrolled in a clinical trial for Omacetaxine, which targets the T315I genetic mutation. By December 2007, Susan was in full remission. She continues to be in remission and is working to educate other CML patients diagnosed with the T315I mutation on the importance of understanding one’s options and maintaining optimism."
Omacetaxine is a drug that can help CML patients with the T3151 mutation is being developed by the pharmaceutical company ChemGenex, and the drug currently in the final phases of clinical trials. Interestingly, Omacetaxine has been granted fast-track status by the FDA, so it may be available for all CML patients who need it much sooner. In the meantime, ask your doctor about the Omacetaxine clinical trials to find out if a clinical trial is appropriate for you.