Review Article

Guide to Interpreting Disease Responses in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Ilene Galinsky, RNP, and Susan Buchanan, PA-C

From Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

Ilene Galinsky has served on advisory boards for Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Celgene. Susan Buchanan has served on advisory boards for Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Celgene.

Correspondence to: Ilene Galinsky, RNP, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. E-mail: igalinsky@partners.org


J Adv Pract Oncol 2012;3:225–236 | DOI: 10.6004/jadpro.2012.3.4.3 | © 2012 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

With the introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia, the course of the disease has been altered from an acute, rapidly progressive terminal disorder to a serious condition with high remission rates when patients are compliant with long-term treatment. The goal of therapy is to prevent transformation to the accelerated or blast crisis phases, which are associated with poor survival. Knowledge of the appropriate monitoring tests and treatment milestones, as well as the ability to interpret responses, allows advanced practitioners (APs) to effectively communicate key aspects of management to their patients. Monitoring patient responses to TKIs and identifying suboptimal responses early on offer APs the opportunity to reevaluate and adjust therapeutic treatment options. One of the causes of treatment failure is noncompliance; thus, educating patients on the importance of adhering to treatment and identifying reasons for noncompliance are of major importance. Because intolerance to TKIs may lead to discontinuation, frequent monitoring of side effects and response to treatment, open communication, patient education, and careful management are all essential in helping patients remain compliant with therapy. This review discusses the AP’s role in helping patients achieve their best response to TKI therapy and optimize their long-term outcomes.  




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