About this Series

Hematologist-oncologists and their fellow clinicians caring for patients with Philadelphia chromosome–positive chronic-phase CML find themselves pivoting to a long-term care model as tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy extends patients a near-normal life expectancy. In practice, this shift presents challenges, such as the management of long-term low-grade adverse events, poor adherence, and TKI resistance.

Leukemia specialists from Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center and the Medical College of Wisconsin are tackling these challenges using a team approach and shared decision-making to personalize medical care for each CML patient. Alongside a top oncologist, each patient has access to a physician assistant, a registered nurse, a clinical oncology pharmacist, and a leading researcher investigating clinical trials focused on CML. The team heads a growing research consortium of 20 participating sites gathering information to better understand this rare disease.

Data from patient-reported outcomes reveal that despite the promise of effective lifelong therapy, patients find long-term management of TKI side effects, fasting schedules, and copayments to be burdensome and difficult. Experts say that one solution to these issues is to expand the pool of patients eligible to discontinue TKI therapy who will go on to achieve treatment-free remission. Through a multidisciplinary approach and the close monitoring of patient response, the Milwaukee team is moving toward this goal.

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