Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Blastic-Phase Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)

Treatment Options for Blastic-Phase CML

  1. Imatinib mesylate, dasatinib, and nilotinib have demonstrated activity in patients with myeloid blast crisis and lymphoid blast crisis or Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.[1,2] Two trials of imatinib mesylate and one trial of dasatinib involving a total of 518 patients in blastic-phase CML confirm a hematologic response rate of 42% to 55% and a major cytogenetic response rate of 16% to 25%, but the estimated 2-year survival rate is under 28%.[2,3,4][Level of evidence: 3iiiA] Clinical trials will explore combining imatinib mesylate with other drugs to improve the prognosis of patients with blastic-phase CML.[5]
  2. Vincristine and prednisone with or without an anthracycline is another treatment option (for the approximately 25% of patients with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-positive cells and lymphoblastic transformation).[6,7]
  3. Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) represents the only potentially curative approach in these patients. Allogeneic BMT is more effective in patients induced into a second chronic phase.
  4. Hydroxyurea as palliative therapy.
  5. High-dose cytarabine.[8]

Current Clinical Trials

Recommended Related to Leukemia & Lymphoma

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Important It is possible that the main title of the report Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Read the Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia article > >

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with blastic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


  1. Druker BJ, Sawyers CL, Kantarjian H, et al.: Activity of a specific inhibitor of the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase in the blast crisis of chronic myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia with the Philadelphia chromosome. N Engl J Med 344 (14): 1038-42, 2001.
  2. Saglio G, Hochhaus A, Goh YT, et al.: Dasatinib in imatinib-resistant or imatinib-intolerant chronic myeloid leukemia in blast phase after 2 years of follow-up in a phase 3 study: efficacy and tolerability of 140 milligrams once daily and 70 milligrams twice daily. Cancer 116 (16): 3852-61, 2010.
  3. Kantarjian HM, Cortes J, O'Brien S, et al.: Imatinib mesylate (STI571) therapy for Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast phase. Blood 99 (10): 3547-53, 2002.
  4. Sawyers CL, Hochhaus A, Feldman E, et al.: Imatinib induces hematologic and cytogenetic responses in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia in myeloid blast crisis: results of a phase II study. Blood 99 (10): 3530-9, 2002.
  5. Fruehauf S, Topaly J, Buss EC, et al.: Imatinib combined with mitoxantrone/etoposide and cytarabine is an effective induction therapy for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in myeloid blast crisis. Cancer 109 (8): 1543-9, 2007.
  6. Preti HA, O'Brien S, Giralt S, et al.: Philadelphia-chromosome-positive adult acute lymphocytic leukemia: characteristics, treatment results, and prognosis in 41 patients. Am J Med 97 (1): 60-5, 1994.
  7. Walters RS, Kantarjian HM, Keating MJ, et al.: Therapy of lymphoid and undifferentiated chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast crisis with continuous vincristine and adriamycin infusions plus high-dose decadron. Cancer 60 (8): 1708-12, 1987.
  8. Kantarjian HM, Talpaz M, Kontoyiannis D, et al.: Treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia in accelerated and blastic phases with daunorubicin, high-dose cytarabine, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. J Clin Oncol 10 (3): 398-405, 1992.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Colorectal cancer cells
    New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    Ovarian cancer illustration
    Real Cancer Perspectives
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    what is your cancer risk
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    prostate cancer overview
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    Actor Michael Douglas