Recommendations for the management of adult chronic myeloid leukaemia in South Africa

V J Louw, L Dreosti, P Ruff, V Jogessar, D Moodley, N Novitzky, M Patel, A Schmidt, P Willem


Introduction. Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a chronic myeloproliferative disorder characterised by a chromosomal translocation between the long arms of chromosomes 9 and 12 resulting in the formation of the BCR-ABL fusion gene. The management of CML has undergone major changes over the past decade. Novel treatment approaches have had a dramatic impact on patient outcomes and survival. Nevertheless, these outcomes can only be achieved in the context of expert management, careful monitoring of disease response, appropriate management of adverse events and timeous adjustments to therapy when responses are not achieved within stated time-frames.
Aim. With the advent of novel treatments providing molecular responses, both the monitoring and management of CML have become more complicated. The aim of these recommendations was to provide a pragmatic yet comprehensive roadmap to negotiate these complexities.
Methods. Recommendations were developed based on local expert opinion from both the academic and private medical care arenas after careful review of the relevant literature and taking into account the most widely used international guidelines. About five meetings were held at which these recommendations were discussed and debated in detail.
Results. A comprehensive set of recommendations was compiled with an emphasis on diagnosis, investigation, treatment and monitoring of disease. Careful attention was given to circumstances unique to South Africa, funding constraints, availability and access to laboratory resources, as well as the effects of concurrent HIV infection.
Conclusion. Most patients with CML can live a reasonably normal life if their disease is appropriately managed. These recommendations should be of value to all specialists involved in the treatment of haematological disorders.

Authors' affiliations

V J Louw, University of the Free State

L Dreosti, University of Pretoria

P Ruff, University of the Witwatersrand

V Jogessar, University of KwaZulu Natal

D Moodley, Parklands Medical Centre

N Novitzky, University of Cape Town

M Patel, University of the Witwatersrand

A Schmidt, Panorama Medical Centre

P Willem, University of the Witwatersrand

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Guidelines; Chronic myeloid leukaemia

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(11):840-846.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-08-11
Date published: 2011-11-01

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