Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter

Statistics and outlook for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

Men and women discussing chronic myeloid leukaemia

This page is about what statistics can tell us about the outlook for people with chronic myeloid leukaemia. There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Statistics and outlook for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

Outlook means your chances of getting better. Doctors call this prognosis. The outcome of treatment for chronic myeloid leukaemia depends on a number of different factors. This includes how advanced the CML is when it is diagnosed and how well it responds to treatments such as biological therapies.

We have quite detailed information about the likely outcome of CML. The statistics we use are taken from a variety of sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check every section of our patient information. They are intended as a general guide only. For the more complete picture in your case, you need to speak to your own specialist.

We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wants to read this type of information. Remember you don't have to read this information, you can always come back to it.

How reliable are cancer statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your outlook.

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Treating CML section.

 

 

About the information on this page

Following on this page, is some information about the survival rates for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). We have included it because many people have asked us for this. But not everyone who is diagnosed with a leukaemia wants to read this type of information. If you are not sure whether you want to know at the moment or not, then perhaps you might like to skip this page for now. You can always come back to it.

Please note that there are no UK statistics available for different stages of CML or treatments that people may have received. The statistics we present here are pulled together from a variety of different sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check each section of our patient information. We provide statistics because people ask us for them. But they are only intended as a general guide and cannot be used to predict your own individual outlook.

 

Cancer statistics in general

Our section about cancer statistics has information about the different types of statistics, such as incidence, survival and mortality. Unless you are very familiar with medical statistics, you may find it helpful to read this before you read the information below.

Remember that statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. They cannot predict exactly what will happen to you. No two patients are exactly alike and response to treatment also varies from one person to another.

You should feel free to ask your doctor about your prognosis, but not even your doctor can tell you for sure what will happen. You may hear your doctor use the term 5 or 10 year survival. It does not mean you will only live 5 or 10 years. Researchers look at all the people who were included when the research studies began. And of that group of people they look at how many are still alive 5 or 10 years after diagnosis. This allows them to compare the results of different treatments in research studies.

 

The outlook for CML

In 2012 the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) reported that in the UK almost 60 out of 100 (60%) people diagnosed with CML will live for more than 5 years.

The outcome of treatment for each individual person with chronic myeloid leukaemia depends on a number of different factors. This includes how advanced it is (the stage) when it is diagnosed and how well it responds to treatment. You will need to talk this through with your own specialist. CML is often a slowly developing condition and treatment can keep it under control for many years. 

Almost 90 out of every 100 people with chronic phase CML (90%) live for 5 years or more. Modern biological therapy treatments such as imatinib (Glivec), dasatinib (Sprycel) and nilotinib (Tasigna) work very well. They can often get rid of all signs of the CML for many years. This is called remission. Remission is when the disease is not active – you don't have symptoms and it doesn't show up in your blood samples. If the CML comes back (relapses), further treatment can often achieve a second remission.

If biological therapies don't work for you, you are likely to have intensive treatment with a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. More than half the people who have this treatment will live for 15 years or more. 

CML that has entered the blast phase is more difficult to manage. But treatment can sometimes get it back into chronic phase, where it is not so difficult to keep it under control. If CML in blast phase does not respond to treatment, unfortunately you are more likely to live for months, rather than years.

 

The reliability of cancer statistics

No statistics can tell you exactly what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people.

The statistics we have are not detailed enough to tell you about the different treatments people may have had. And how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will determine your treatment and prognosis.

 

Clinical trials

Research trials are continuing to try to improve the treatments and outlook for people with CML. You can search for trials for chronic leukaemia on our clinical trials database.

Rate this page:
Submit rating

 

Rated 4 out of 5 based on 14 votes
Rate this page
Rate this page for no comments box
Please enter feedback to continue submitting
Send feedback
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team

No Error

Updated: 25 November 2014