Doctors are working to learn more about CML, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials . Most cancer centers are actively involved in clinical trials aimed at increasing the number of people who are cured of CML. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.
Imatinib resistance. Sometimes, CML becomes resistant to imatinib when the BCR-ABL gene develops new changes, which prevent imatinib from blocking the enzyme. Research focused on increasing the effectiveness of this treatment are listed below:
- Switching to another tyrosine kinase drug
- Using higher doses of imatinib as the first treatment
- Combining imatinib with other drugs, including low-dose cytarabine (Cytosar-U), alpha interferon (Roferon-A, Intron A, Alferon), pegylated interferon, or other BCR-ABL inhibitors
- Other chemotherapy drugs such as omacetaxine
- Testing new drugs that have been made specifically to block new mutations in the BCR-ABL fusion gene, such as ponatinib.
- Creating vaccines  against BCR-ABL
- Developing newer methods of stem cell transplantation aimed at decreasing the side effects
- Evaluating other new tyrosine kinase inhibitors for CML that does not respond to imatinib
- Safely stopping tyrosine kinase drug treatment without the CML coming back.
Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current CML treatments in order to improve patients' comfort and quality of life.
Learn more about common statistical terms used in cancer research .
Looking for More about Current Research?
If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding CML, explore these related items:
- To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trial databases now .
- Review research announced at recent scientific meetings  or in ASCO's peer-reviewed journals .
- Read ASCO's latest Clinical Cancer Advances report , which highlights top research findings over the past year.
- Visit ASCO's CancerProgress.Net  website to learn more about the historical pace of research for leukemia.
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