Chronic myelogenous leukemia (also called CML or chronic granulocytic leukemia) is a slowly progressing blood and bone marrow disease that usually occurs during or after middle age, and rarely occurs in children.

In CML, too many blood stem cells become a type of white blood cell called granulocytes. These granulocytes are abnormal and do not become healthy white blood cells. They are also called leukemia cells. The leukemia cells can build up in the blood and bone marrow so there is less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. When this happens, infection, anemia or easy bleeding may occur.

Signs & Symptoms

These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by CML or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs on the left side

Sometimes CML does not cause any symptoms at all.


Your OHC doctor will help you determine the best care plan for you. Treatment of chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia may include the following:

  • Targeted therapy with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor
  • High-dose chemotherapy with donor stem cell transplant
  • Chemotherapy
  • Splenectomy
  • A clinical trial of lower-dose chemotherapy with donor stem cell transplant
  • A clinical trial of a new treatment