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Cancer Health Center

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Myelodysplastic/ Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Atypical Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia


The median survival times for aCML are reported to be less than 20 months, and thrombocytopenia and marked anemia are poor prognostic factors.[1,2] Atypical CML evolves to acute leukemia in approximately 25% to 40% of patients.[1,3] In the remainder, fatal complications include resistant leukocytosis, anemia, thrombocytopenia, hepatosplenomegaly, cerebral bleeding associated with thrombocytopenia, and infection.[3,4]

Treatment Overview

The optimal treatment of aCML is uncertain because of the rare incidence of this chronic leukemic disorder. Treatment with hydroxyurea may lead to short-lived partial remissions of 2- to 4-months' duration.[4] Atypical CML, appears to respond poorly to treatment with interferon-alpha.[4]

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with atypical chronic myeloid leukemia, BCR-ABL1 negative. 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. Orazi A, Germing U: The myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms: myeloproliferative diseases with dysplastic features. Leukemia 22 (7): 1308-19, 2008.
  2. Hernández JM, del Cañizo MC, Cuneo A, et al.: Clinical, hematological and cytogenetic characteristics of atypical chronic myeloid leukemia. Ann Oncol 11 (4): 441-4, 2000.
  3. Costello R, Sainty D, Lafage-Pochitaloff M, et al.: Clinical and biological aspects of Philadelphia-negative/BCR-negative chronic myeloid leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma 25 (3-4): 225-32, 1997.
  4. Kurzrock R, Bueso-Ramos CE, Kantarjian H, et al.: BCR rearrangement-negative chronic myelogenous leukemia revisited. J Clin Oncol 19 (11): 2915-26, 2001.
  5. Bennett JM, Catovsky D, Daniel MT, et al.: The chronic myeloid leukaemias: guidelines for distinguishing chronic granulocytic, atypical chronic myeloid, and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia. Proposals by the French-American-British Cooperative Leukaemia Group. Br J Haematol 87 (4): 746-54, 1994.

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.
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