21. Pathophysiology of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

  1. Stefan Faderl MD Associate Professor and
  2. Hagop Kantarjian MD Chairman Professor
  1. Agnes S. M. Yong MB BCh, MRCP (UK), PhD, FRCPath Senior Research Fellow1 and
  2. Junia V. Melo MD, PhD, FRCPath Professor of Haematology2

Published Online: 4 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444327359.ch21

Leukemias: Principles and Practice of Therapy

Leukemias: Principles and Practice of Therapy

How to Cite

Yong, A. S. M. and Melo, J. V. (2010) Pathophysiology of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, in Leukemias: Principles and Practice of Therapy (eds S. Faderl and H. Kantarjian), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444327359.ch21

Editor Information

  1. Department of Leukemia, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

  2. 2

    Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 JAN 2011
  2. Published Print: 26 NOV 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405182355

Online ISBN: 9781444327359



  • chronic myeloid leukemia;
  • pathophysiology;
  • molecular biology;
  • BCR-ABL;
  • tyrosine kinase


The features of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) are caused by a functionally overactive tyrosine kinase, Bcr-Abl, which is the product of the BCR-ABL gene consequent to a reciprocal translocation t(9;22). The tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib has become the first-line treatment for CML; it has improved survival and may alter the natural course of the disease in many patients. However, advanced phase disease is still refractory to many treatments, and better understanding of the molecular aspects of Bcr-Abl may yield new therapeutic avenues for drug discovery. In addition to the development of newer tyrosine kinase-targeted therapies, the emerging role of immunotherapy and exploitation of tyrosine kinase-independent pathways are promising aspects of translational research.