Chronic myelogenous (or myeloid or myelocytic) leukemia (CML), also known as chronic granulocytic leukemia (CGL), is a cancer of the white blood cells. It is a form of leukemia characterized by the increased and unregulated growth of predominantly myeloid cells in the bone marrow and the accumulation of these cells in the blood. CML is a clonal bone marrow stem cell disorder in which a proliferation of mature granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils) and their precursors is found.
It is a type of myeloproliferative disease associated with a characteristicchromosomal translocation called the Philadelphia chromosome. CML is now largely treated with targeted drugs calledtyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) which have led to dramatically improved long term survival rates since the introduction of the first such agent in 2001. These drugs have revolutionized treatment of this disease and allow most patients to have a good quality of life when compared to the former chemotherapy drugs. In Western countries it accounts for 15-20% of all adult leukemias and 14% of leukemias overall (including the paediatric population).