Making the Decision to Have Biologic Therapy for CML

Biologic treatment is also called immunotherapy. It uses substances made in a lab. These substances act like the ones your immune system makes. Before the targeted therapy drug Gleevec (imatinib) was used, this was the first treatment choice for CML.

If your CML is in the chronic phase, your doctor may recommend interferon therapy with Roferon or Intron (interferon alpha). This drug may get rid of the leukemia cells. The goal is to destroy the most cells with the Philadelphia chromosome as possible.

Very few people whose leukemia is in the accelerated phase respond. And the remissions brought on by interferon therapy don’t last as long as for those in the chronic phase. Remission is when there is no longer a sign of the disease.

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