chronic myeloid leukemia

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    The Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation is a patient-led non-profit foundation in Switzerland. Its mission is to improve the lives & survival of patients affected by Leukemia. It is a platform for discussions & best practice sharing to Leukemia patient groups worldwide. The foundation collaborates with all stakeholders involved in research, policy, treatment and care. It also acts as a platform for patient organisations concentrating on educating, connecting and supporting patient group leaders.

    The foundation acts as a legal platform for self-sustained patient advocacy networks: The CML Advocates Network (123 patient organisations in 93 countries), the MPN Advocates Network, the CLLAdvocates Network and the Acute Leukemia Advocates Network (ALAN).

    Vision and Mission of the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation

    Our vision is a world in which all leukemia patients have access to the best treatment, care and support available.

    Our mission is:

    • To improve the lives and survival rates of patients affected by leukemia, as well as their relatives, worldwide
    • To support patient leaders in providing help and support to leukemia patients and their relatives
    • To provide a platform for education and best practice sharing of leukemia patient groups worldwide
    • To collaborate with other stakeholders involved in research, treatment and care of leukemia patients

    The Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation hosts the global CML Advocates Network, MPN Advocates Network, CLLAdvocates Network and the last one, the Acute Leukemia Advocates Network (ALAN).

    CML Advocates Network

    CML Advocates Network-logo-rectangle

    Hosted by the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation, the global "CML Advocates Network" ( connects 123 patient organisations in 93 countries on all continents. The CML Advocates Network is a worldwide network designed and run by CML patients and carers who are registered patient group advocates and organisers.

    The Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation hosts the "CML Horizons" conference as the annual global leadership meeting that welcomes patient leaders from all world regions ( An elected "CML Horizons Steering Committee", as a steering committee (as defined in the foundation's statutes) within the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation, carries all responsibility to run the "CML Horizons" conferences. Following elections by the worldwide CML community in May 2019, the CML Horizons Steering Committee consists of the following nine members of which six are CML patients themselves, and which represent all major regions of the world.

    • Sarunas Narbutas (Lithuania, Central and Eastern Europe & West Asia region representative; Chairman of the CML Advocates Network)
    • Giora Sharf (Israel, co-founder of the CML Advocates Network)
    • Jan Geissler (Germany, co-founder of the CML Advocates Network)
    • Jana Pelouchová (Czech Republic, co-founder of the CML Advocates Network)
    • Bahija Gouimi (Morocco, Middle East & Africa region representative)
    • Lisa Machado (Canada, North America region representative; Treasurer of the CML Advocates Network)
    • Felice Bombaci (Italy, Western Europe region representative)
    • José Castro (Costa Rica, Latin America region representative)
    • Rod Padua (Philippines, Asia-Pacific region representative)

    The management is supported by the Executive Director, Denis Costello with our Programme Managers Celia Marín  and Lidija Pecova t


    MPN Advocates Network

    mpn-advocates-logoHosted by the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation, the global "MPN Advocates Network" ( was founded by representatives from the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The MPN Advocates Network's immediate goal is to increase the international scope of the organisation by contacting MPN patient groups in other countries and inviting them to become part of the network. The initial focus will be groups in Europe, but the intention is to be a worldwide organisation.

    The MPN Advocates Network hosts the "MPN Horizons", the international conference for MPN patient advocacy leaders, works on educating patient advocates, building patient groups’ capacity, implementing advocacy initiatives with a real impact in the countries and finally enforcing cooperation in the global “MPN Advocates Network”.

    A Steering Committee within the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation carries all responsibility to run the MPN Advocates Network. The members of the Steering Committee are:

    • Chairperson: Jon Mathias, London UK
    • Vice Chairperson: Peter Loffelhardt, Barcelona/Switzerland
    • Secretary/Treasurer: Cheryl Petruk, Canada
    • Giora Sharf, LePaf Representative, Israel
    • Felice Bombaci, Italy
    • Lexi Moore & Michelle Woehrle , USA
    • Mirjana Babamova, Macedonia
    • Robi Zelig, Israel
    • Werner Zinkand, Germany

    Giora Sharf (Israel), as a trustee of the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation, supervises the finances of the MPN Advocates Network and its compliance with Swiss Regulatory requirements regarding the non-profit status.

    For more information, please visit the MPN Advocates Network website

    CLL Advocates Network


    Hosted by the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation, the establishment of the CLLAdvocates Network (CLLAN) ( and commencement of the new network’s activities aims to ensure the successes seen in CML are replicated for CLLand common goals are shared. The CLLAdvocates Network (CLLAN) was founded by representatives from Canada, Czech Republic, France, Israel, Portugal, UK and the United States. The CLLAdvocates Network Steering Committee consists of the following 8 members, of which 3 are CLLpatients and one a carer. The other members are CLLpatient advocates:

    • Nick York, UK - Interim Chair
    • Pierre Aumont, France - Vice-Chair
    • Jana Pelouchova, LePAF Rep, Czech Rep. - Treasurer
    • Michael Rynne, Ireland - Communications Officer
    • Felice Bombaci, Italy
    • Brian Koffman, United States of America
    • Deborah Baker, Canada

    The CLLAdvocates Network’s immediate goals include connecting across the globe with CLLpatient groups, CLLpatient advocates and patient organisations supporting blood cancer patients including CLL.

    The CLLAdvocates Network hosts the "CLLHorizons", a unique opportunity for CLLpatient organization representatives to meet and network, giving them the opportunity to discuss issues facing CLLpatients and hopefully start to think about what they could do better to help CLLpatients in their communities. 

    Acute Leukemia Advocates Network  (ALAN)

    ALANThe newest patient advocates network within the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation is the Acute Leukemia Advocates Network (ALAN)  (

    The ALAN is an independent global network of patient organisations representatives and patient organisations, dedicated to

    • changing outcomes of patients with acute leukemias by strengthening patient advocacy in that area by developing patient information and specific support for patients with acute leukemias and their carers in all countries; 
    • strengthening patient organisations by sharing best practices and providing toolkits in patient advocacy;
    • creating awareness about acute leukemias and how to better support leukemia patients; advocating for better treatment, care & access to healthcare services;
    • improving education for healthcare professionals serving leukemia patients as well as collaborating with other initiatives and stakeholders with similar goals.

    Similar to the CML Advocates Network, MPN Advocates Network and CLLAdvocates Network within the LePAF, the ALAN is not a network mainly targeting (english-language) patients and carers directly, but acts as a “network of organisations”. It aims to build capacity in the members of the network to deliver tailored services to acute leukemia patients and carers on the national level, while joining forces between organisations on the policy and research level across countries.

    The first ALAN Steering Committee consists of the following patient advocates:

    • Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, Chair (UK)
    • Anita Waldmann (Germany)
    • Sophie Wintrich (UK)
    • Jan Geissler (Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation representative)

    Board of the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation

    The foundation's statutes mandate the foundation board only with supervisory and financial management roles, while its statutory committees, as listed above, are fully self-governed, autonomous initiatives. Projects are run by the committees, not by the foundation board. Formally, the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation is represented by the following trustees of the Foundation:

    • Jana Pelouchová (President, Czech Republic)
    • Jan Geißler (Vice President and Managing Director, Germany)
    • Giora Sharf (Treasurer, Israel)
    • Erik Aerts (Board Member, Switzerland)

    Registered Address & Contact Details

    We are purely patient-run, non-profit and public interest, and we have no legal department. Talking to each other first is always the best solution. If you see a challenge for whatever reason, please contact us directly - we are very confident any issue can be solved.

    Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation
    P.O.B. 453
    CH-3000 Bern 7
    Registration: Chamber of Commerce of Canton Bern, Switzerland – CH-

    Written correspondence is preferred to be sent to the following address:

    LeukaNET e.V.
    Am Rothenanger 1b
    85521 Riemerling




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    The CML Advocates Network Story

    The CML Advocates Network is an active network specifically for leaders of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) patient groups, connecting 123 patient organisations in 93 countries on all continents. It was set-up and is run by CML patients and carers. Its aim is to facilitate and support best practice sharing among patient advocates across the world.

    The idea to form the CML Advocates Networkwas first discussed in 2005 during the 4th International "New Horizons in Cancer" conference in Dublin for CML & GIST patient advocacy groups. Since their initiation in 2002, the "New Horizons" annual conferences have become a key networking event and a platform for best practice and knowledge sharing for CML and GIST patient groups from all five continents. Presentations by expert clinicians, medical professionals and patient group organizers enable the sharing of the most up to date clinical information, of best practice in patient advocacy as well as of hands-on experience, e.g. and on how to run patient advocacy organisations. The CML Advocates Networkwebsite was then set up in 2007 to keep the international networking going also after the annual meetings, as well as to bridge geographical distances between patient leaders.

    The network was initiated by four patient groups from Germany, UK, Czech Republic and Israel, facilitated by an unrestricted grant from Novartis. It is run independently by CML patients and hosted by the patient-run Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation. The website has turned out to be a very powerful tool to support patient leaders around the world, to provide a knowledge base on CML advocacy, and to facilitate best practice sharing.

    We welcome members from all CML patient group organizations throughout the world to become part of the CML Advocates Network

    Our Objectives

    The four main objectives of the CML Advocates Network are:

    The website does not intend to be a platform for public discussions. Hence interactive functionality is mainly being offered in a non-public, member-only area which is accessible by registered representatives of leukemia patient groups only. 

    Our Team

    The CML Advocates Network is run by the elected CML Steering Committeecomposed of six CML patient advocates representing the major regions of the world plus the three co-founders of the network. The management is supported by the Executive Director with our Programme Managers.

    - The CML Steering Committee -


    Sarunas Narbutas


    Chairman of the CML Advocates Network. 

    President of Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition (POLA).

    Region Central and Eastern Europe & West Asia Representati



    jana low 



    Co-founder of the CML Advocates Network.

    President of Diagnoza Leukemie, Czech Republic.




    Giora web




    Co-founder of the CML Advocates Network.

    Director of Flute of Light, Israel.




    JAN Low




    Co-founder of the CML Advocates Network.

    Chair of LeukaNET, Germany









    Chairman of the Gruppo AIL Pazienti Leucemia Mieloide Cronica, Italy.

    Region Western Europe Representative







    Treasurer of the CML Advocates Network

    Canadian CML Network Executive Director, Canada.

    Region North America Representative.





    Bahija Low





    President of the Association AMAL, Morocco.

    Region Middle East & Africa Representative.








    Fundraiser, Legal and Scientific Affairs of AGALEMO, Asociación Amalia y Glenn Dewey para Pacientes con Leucemia y Mieloma, Costa Rica.

    Region Latin America Representative.




    ROD Low 



    President of Touched By Max, Philippines.

    Region Asia-Pacific Representative.






     - The team -

    Denis webpage 1




    Executive Director of the CML Advocates Network









    Programme Manager of the CML Advocates Network





    lidija 3




    Programme Manager of the CML Advocates Network




    Our Audience

    Visitors of the website are

    • Patient advocates leading leukemia support groups, aiming to get in touch with other national groups, and to share experience in advocacy in the member area
    • Patients and their relatives to locate support groups, e.g. in their home country or in other countries
    • Health professionals and carers who are interested in key issues of the CML patient community.

    The website does not aim to provide information to medical professionals. Hence, the website is provided in plain, patient-friendly language, and is hesitant in using medical terms.

    Features for members

    Most of the website's content, including news from the network, the CML glossary, the CML trial registry and CML-related information are openly accessible.

    The member area is only accessible to registered members and requires a login. A login account can be provided by the moderators of the website after registration. The moderators will then check whether the applicant is representing a leukemia patient organization.

    Access to the member-only area is only granted leaders of patient organizations, not to individual patients or non-patient stakeholders. The reason is that the main goal of the network is to link up patient advocates and to facilitate best practice sharing in CML advocacy. However, we invite individual patients to use our website to search for a local patient organization in their country.

    The following functionality is available to registered members:

    • Discussion forums, with subforums e.g. on advocacy, on how to set up patient websites, what activities the groups have, share their successes and failures that they encounter, so all the others can learn from these experiences, etc.
    • Download area for files, e.g. conference material.

    Legal disclaimer

    The maintainers of this website have no medical qualifications and the information contained on this site is not intended to replace expert medical advice that you may be given. We do our best to ensure that any information we publish is accurate and strongly advise that any decisions about your treatment should be made after discussions with your haematologist or other suitably qualified medical professional.

    We are purely patient-run, non-profit and public interest. Talking to each other is always the best solution. Before taking any legal action against us for whatever reason, please contact us - we are very confident we can solve any issue in both interests without the need for any legal steps.

    How to contact us

    This website - and the CML Advocates Network - is formally hosted by the "Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation", a global patient-led non-profit foundation registered in Switzerland. The foundation is connecting leukemia patient organizations on all continents to strengthen their advocacy work. Its mission is to improve the lives and survival of patients affected by leukemia as well as their relatives by supporting leaders in providing help and support.

    You can get in touch with us at

    You can also use the Contact us website. We're happy to receive your feedback or enquiry!

    The formal responsibility of this website belongs to the following organisation:


    Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation
    P.O.B. 453
    CH-3000 Bern 7

    The trustees of the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation are Jana Pelouchová (President), Giora Sharf (Treasurer), Jan Geissler (Vice President and Managing Director) and Erik Aerts.


    The website was built on free software and is hosted and maintained on a low-cost basis. This was to make sure the website does not require significant funding after its initial set-up. The website was set up using the Open Source Software Joomla. We would like to thank the enthusiasm of those engaged in Open Source Software. This project would have never been possible without open source projects and their communities!


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    The 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting is taking place June 2–6 in Chicago.

    At the CML Education Session, CML expert Dr. Ehab Atallah, MD, associate professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has been speaking during an Education Session about discontinuation of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) presenting about the "Promise of stopping TKIs: Is it ready for prime time"?

    Even though no new data was presented (see ASH 2016 Report), it has been very interesting to listen to the US perspective.




  • Asco CML pediatric 1

    The 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting were taking place June 2–6 in Chicago.

    At ASCO, Lia Gore, MD, co-director of the Hematological Malignancies Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, presented exciting data about Dasatinib in pediatric CML patients: CML in children is ultra-rare, making it very difficult to study - CML cases make up only 3% of all leukemias in children.

    The data presented here has been submitted to FDA and EMA for the approval in pediatric use, and is quite impressive: The side effect profile seems to be very favourable and the inhibition of bone growth in children on TKIs seems to be less of an issue in Dasatinib than in Imatinib

    However, given that administration of medicines in children and being adherent to therapy is often a challenge for young CML patients (and their parents), the availability of Dasatinib also as a powder-based suspension as well as the fact that the drug can be taken without or with food may make life much easier.

    The investigators concluded that Dasatinib may be considered as a new standard of care for pediatric CML patients. 

  • ASCO17 tki discontinuation posterThe 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting were taking place June 2–6 in Chicago and our cofounder Jan Geissler has collected all the highlights of this important meeting for chronic myeloid leukemia community.

    In the recent past, not only hematologists but also patient groups have expressed their concern that "stopping CML therapy out in the field" may lead to bad practice by doctors not following expert recommendations, and have suggested stopping TKI therapy should only be done in clinical trials.

    Of course, especially after NCCN has updated its CML guideline and has given guidance on stopping treatment despite the prematurity of data, we could expect that this would be largely ignored out in the field.

    So here is Jan Geissler's shock poster at #ASCO17: The high arts of CML therapy and the sad reality - we need to be grateful for investigators spelling it out so clearly. He is shocked, as his gut feeling about bad practice is now supported by data.

  • ashlogoJust two weeks left until the 59th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition opens its doors on 9th December in Atlanta, USA. We are hoping to see many CML Advocates at #ASH17!

    This is the world’s most comprehensive haematology event of the year and it is very important to be ready before the meeting as CML advocates in order not to miss out on any important session about chronic myeloid leukaemia.

    We are happy to share with you some key information about CML sessions hoping it will assist you to prepare and outline your days and make the most out of your time whilst at #ASH17.

    Click on "Read more" and check what is offered for patient advocates, haematologists and other stakeholders interested in CML at American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting this year. If you are coming to #ASH17, don't miss any of them, they will all be really interesting!


    - Written by Sharf Giora, CML Advocates Network -

    ASH 2017 is the 10th ASH conference I am attending in a raw, and I am being asked many times why do I like this conference and travel such a long distance to attend it every year.

    AshGiora1The main reason that I, as a patients representative, leave home and travel to ASH is to hear and learn about the last innovations in the treatment of blood cancers and bring these news to patients in my country and across the globe, to empower them with knowledge, and mainly hope. that research in the various diseases is ongoing and if they are in a need for a new treatment, maybe it is just around the corner. The second reason why I go to ASH, which is not less important, is that this is the best place and opportunity to meet in a short time all the stakeholders that I am working with, like Drs and scientists from Israel and the globe, Pharma representatives from medical and patients relations, and other patients advocates, and to discuss with all of them how to continue and strengthen our collaboration.

    - Giora and Nadav, a board member of
    Flute of Light at ASH 2017  -
  • - ASH 2018 - CML Advocates Network Report by Giora Sharf -  

    ASH Giora 3Every year in the last years I have been asked by Haematologists and also patients, why do I leave home for 6 days and fly across the world to ASH in the USA, as CML seems to be a conquered disease where the life expectancy of a patient is similar to a healthy person. When I think about it I have a few possible answers. 

    First, ASH is the biggest and most important hematologic conference of the year where the newest data from clinical trials and real life are published at thousands of abstracts and posters in different sessions. 

    Second, as I run today not only the Israeli CML patients organization but also the Flute of Light which is the home for blood cancers patients in Israel, I feel it is my responsibility to be at the place where new hopes and optimism are published for patients in different cancers like Lymphomas, CLL, Acute Leukemias and MPN. In addition, ASH is the place to meet with the top management of all the companies we work with and discuss how to strengthen our collaboration for more patients centric activities like patients engagement in clinical trials for example and improved access.

    ASH opens every year on Friday with many satellite symposiums sponsored by Pharma on different diseases. This year there was no symposium on CML so I was able to attend the Advocates breakfast organized each year by Pfizer and the ICMLF meeting led by Tim Hughes which included talks on pregnancy in CML by Dragana Milosevic from the Hammersmith, Pediatric CML management by Prof Suttorp from Germany and talks by Dr Benneh from Ghana on CML management challenges in low-income countries.

    CML wise the conference included the following sessions: The CML educational session, 3 oral sessions with 6 abstract presentations each, and posters presented at the end of each day at the posters session.

    This report will summarize the main topics I found to be interesting at the oral and poster sessions. The main topics were new drugs in CML, TFR and Pregnancy and CML

    If you want to read more info, you can find below each summary the link to the abstract presented. 

  • logo bannerJust a few days left until the 61st ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition opens its doors on 7th until 10th December in Orlando, USA. We are hoping to see many CML Advocates at #ASH19!

    This is the world’s most comprehensive hematology event of the year and it is very important to prepare the meeting as CML patient advocates in order not to miss out on any key session about chronic myeloid leukemia.

    Below you can find some key information about CML sessions hoping it will assist you to prepare and outline your days and make the most out of your time whilst at #ASH19.

    We are especially proud this year because of the strong presence of the patient advocacy evidence-based with two important posters of the leukemia patient advocacy community:

    1. The CML Advocates Network Paper “Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients’ Views on Psychological Support Throughout the Treatment-Free Remission Journey”
    2. The Acute Leukemia Advocates Network Paper ”Identifying Differences in the Quality of Life of Patients with Acute Leukemia: A Global Survey”

    Click on "Read more" and check what is offered for patient advocates, hematologists and other stakeholders interested in CML at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting this year.


    d low2.jpg.001.jpeg.001We’re proud to announce that Denis Costello has recently been appointed as the first Executive Director of the CML Advocates Network, the global umbrella organisation dedicated to empowering patient leaders in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML).

    Denis comes to our CML family from EURORDIS, Rare Diseases Europe, where he worked since 2008 as the organisation’s Online Communications Manager.

    During that time he has led the launch and operation of RareConnect, a global, multilingual social network for patients and families living with rare diseases (see which saw him work with over 1000 patient organisations of all sizes and from all over the world who now use the platform to host their online patient communities.

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    Our Programme Manager Celia Marín on behalf of the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation participated at the “Council of European Rare Disease Federations” held in Paris on 26-27 October 2017 by the Rare Diseases Europe EURORDIS with 26 other patient organisation representatives from different communities such as Myeloma Patients Europe and Lymphoma Coalition.The two-day meeting was full of very informative and interesting sessions, starting with a joint meeting with the Council of National Alliances.

  • EHA logoThe European Hematology Association held the “EHA-SWG Scientific Meeting on Integrated Diagnosis Strategies in Oncohematology for the Management of Cytopenias and Leukocytosis” on February 8-10, 2018 In Barcelona, Spain.

    The scientific meeting covered all practical aspects of diagnosis of haematological disorders suspected when encountering leukocytosis or cytopenia, with a strong focus on morphology, pathology and flow cytometry.

    toni1During three days, the hematological experts put under the spotlight very interesting topics as the following: Pre analytical and analytical considerations; Towards integrated diagnoses: basics of morphology, flow cytometry, cytogenetics and molecular karyotype, molecular technologies; Morphology of granulo-monocytopoiesis: normal, MDS, AML and MPN; Lymphopoiesis, leukemia and lymphoproliferative disorders; New drugs / therapeutic approaches and personalized medicine or Patient’s follow up: MRD and detection of the emergence of resistances.

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    Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is a Rare Disease

    What is a Rare Disease? 

    The actual prevalence of rare diseases can vary between populations, making it difficult to provide a precise numerical definition. In Europe and many other regions, a disease is defined as rare when it affects fewer than 1 in 2000. One rare disease may affect only a handful of patients in the European Union and another may touch as many as 245,000. In the EU, as many as 30 million people may be affected by one of over 6000 existing rare diseases. Click here to check more information about Rare Diseases at Eurordis, Rare Diseases Europe.

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    Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is a Rare Disease

    What a Rare Disease is? 

    Rare_Disease_Day_2019_PosterAccording to the European Commission, any disease affecting fewer than 5 people in 10,000 in the EU is considered rare. Although this might appear small, it translates into approximately 246,000 people.

    Most patients suffer from even rarer diseases affecting 1 person in 100,000 or more. Approximately 5,000-8,000 distinct rare diseases affect 6-8% of the EU population i.e. between 27 and 36 million people.

    In the USA, a disease is defined as rare when it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans at any given time. 

    The actual prevalence of rare diseases can vary between populations, making it difficult to provide a precise numerical definition

    • 80% of rare diseases have identified genetic origins whilst others are the result of infections (bacterial or viral), allergies and environmental causes, or are degenerative and proliferative.
    • 50% of rare diseases affect children.

    Click here to check more information about Rare Diseases at Eurordis, Rare Diseases Europe.

  • Word Art 1

    Patients wishing to participate in a clinical study often look for a central source of information where they can find easy-to-understand facts on ongoing trials. 

    Official trial registries like or other trial registries are available but tend to be complex and difficult to use for patients.

    To fill the need for a single source of information on CML studies in plain language, CML Advocates Network set up an unofficial online CML Trials Registryin 2013.

    The database contains a brief description of ongoing CML trials initiated by academia (universities) or pharmaceutical companies.

    Currently, 24 clinical studies are listed that are actively recruiting patients. Another 11 studies are still ongoing but no longer including new patients.

  •  CML Logotip Portugal 2019 5


    CML Advocacy: Learn. Share. Grow. 

    17 - 19 May 2019, Lisbon, Portugal


    banner1HZ19The 17th International CML Horizons Conference was held in Lisbon, Portugal from the 17th to 19th May 2019

    This year we greeted a record 119 participants and welcomed 22 newcomers who all support the CML Community worldwide with a very active engagement in Social Media by sharing, making comments and networking in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the meeting.

    Hundreds of posts on the Facebook Pages of the CML patient advocates and groups were informing thousands of people worldwide and more than 300 Tweets using the hashtag #CMLHZ19 got a large impact on the online CML community with more than 11.000 impressions on this social media channel.

    Our participants were given the opportunity to hear from 21 speakers from both medical and patient advocate specialists.

    In addition to the expert presentations from our acclaimed speakers our participants once again through the interactive regional workshops collectively played a role in strengthening the regions.

    The conference also offers cross border networking where delegates were able to share best practices, interact and exchange ideas.

    The poster session has become extremely popular and 21 advocates showcased their organisations' activities.

    Read more to access to the Presentations, Video Streams and Photo Gallery of the CML Horizons 2019 Conference.


  • More than 12,000 hematology professionals from around the world met together in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for the 24th European Hematology Association (EHA) Congress. 

    eha9This has been the largest EHA Congress ever recorded with a growth of more than a thousand attendees from last year.

    Once again, our CML patient advocates team has been participating in this important meeting for leukemia patients as well as for the patient advocacy community.

    Our co-founders Jan Geissler, Giora Sharf and Jana Pelouchova as well as our Chair Sarunas Narbutas and several Steering Committee members and CML CAB members as Zack Pemberton-Whiteley or Felice Bombaci, plus our staff members, have been attending and actively participating in many sessions of the Congress.

    Know more about what happened at #EHA24 on CML:

  • In this section, we are collecting and publishing news focused on treatment-free remission in CML on a regular basis. We offer you to check the "News on TFR" section to be informed about latest advances in stopping treatment for CML patients.


    Final 3-year Results of the Dasatinib Discontinuation Trial in Patients With Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Who Received Dasatinib as a Second-line Treatment

    Okada, Masaya et al. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia , Volume 18 , Issue 5 , 353 - 360.e1 DOI:


    TFR study june articleSecond-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), including dasatinib and nilotinib, are better at inhibiting BCR-ABL kinase activity than the first-generation TKI imatinib mesylate. Second-generation TKIs were introduced initially as a second-line treatment for the patients with disease resistant or who were intolerant to imatinib and resulted in a remarkable response rate.1 Because subsequent studies demonstrated that second-generation TKIs show superior efficacy to imatinib for newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML),2, 3 their use as a first-line treatment has increased.

    Although accumulating evidence has shown that discontinuing imatinib is feasible, trials of patients receiving second-generation TKIs are lacking. Therefore, we conducted a phase II trial to investigate whether long-term TFR was achievable after discontinuing second- or subsequent-line dasatinib treatment after imatinib resistance or intolerance (the DADI trial [dasatinib discontinuation]).

    We have confirmed the feasibility of dasatinib discontinuation in patients without imatinib-resistant disease who maintain MR4.0 for ≥ 1 year. Moreover, we have demonstrated that both the characteristics of leukemia cells (an intrinsic factor) and the host immunologic responses (an extrinsic factor) are involved in maintenance of TFR. These findings could be useful for identifying patients who will derive the greatest benefit                                                           from TKI discontinuation and enable optimization of the algorithm used for treatment of CML patients taking TKIs.

    To read the full article please visit the Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma, Leukemia Journal




    Considerations for Successful Treatment-free Remission in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

    Considerations for Successful Treatment-free Remission in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Goldberg, Stuart L. et al. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia , Volume 18 , Issue 2 , 98 – 105. DOI:

    TFR DOI 1Abstract

    BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors have dramatically improved outcomes for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, and current studies are investigating whether some patients may be able to suspend therapy yet maintain response in a state known as “treatment-free remission” (TFR). Results from ongoing studies suggest that ≈ 40% to 60% of patients in sustained (generally ≥ 2 years) deep molecular response (defined as a 4-log or deeper reduction in BCR-ABL1 transcripts, depending on the study) who attempt TFR may successfully remain off treatment. Results from TFR clinical trials, patient considerations for attempting TFR, and potential predictive factors associated with successful TFR are reviewed herein.

    To read the full article please visit the Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma, Leukemia Journal




    fdalogoFDA updates the label of Tasigna to reflect that certain patients with a type of leukaemia that may be eligible to stop treatment after sustained response

    Discontinuation in treatment marks a first in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

    FDA News Release. December 22, 2017.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated the product label for the cancer drug Tasigna (nilotinib) to include information for providers about how to discontinue the drug in certain patients. Tasigna, first approved by the FDA in 2007, is indicated for the treatment of patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). With today’s updated dosing recommendations, patients with early (chronic) phase CML who have been taking Tasigna for three years or more, and whose leukaemia has responded to treatment according to specific criteria as detected by a test that has received FDA marketing authorization, may be eligible to stop taking Tasigna.

    “Patients diagnosed with CML generally face a lifetime of treatment to keep their leukaemia from growing or recurring,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This approval shows that some patients may be able to stop treatment with Tasigna altogether if they are showing a strong response to therapy. While we welcome this progress in patient care, it’s important to note that any discontinuation of treatment still means patients must be regularly monitored for disease recurrence.”

    To read more, please visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website


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    Professor Tessa Holyoake Memorial - please post your tribute!


    The CML community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Tessa Holyoake.Prof Tessa Holyoake in lab

    Prof. Holyoake, was a world-leader on Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) achieving outstanding results in CML. Through her research she developed methods to purify the cells of leukaemia patients. Her most recent study analysed both CML and normal blood stem cells and the key to the survival of CML stem cells. The team led by Prof. Holyoake then developed a drug combination to simultaneously target these critical proteins and kill the CML stem cells.

    Last month Prof Holyoake was awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Royal Medal by the Queen of Britain for recognition of her contribution to the field of Life Sciences by her discovery of the existence of cancer stem cells in CML and her development of a new therapy for this condition.Professor Tessa Holyoake with queen   

    Tell us your tribute to Tessa now!           

    Through this page, we ask you to express your sympathies, to communicate your condolences and testimonials including your memories, thoughts and prayers. With your heartfelt messages we will compose an International Memorial Book honouring our admired and brilliant Professor Tessa Holyoake. Prof Tessa was a brilliant scientist and clinician and she will be sorely missed.

    Please, post your tribute and/or memories in the left side also feel free to add any photos with your message. We will use your tributes and photos in a Memorial Book.

    If you have any questions or trouble, please feel free to email us at



  • pediatric report1 defTKIs seem to allow most CML patients, including children, to live a normal lifespan under continued treatment. However, the medication’s long-term side effects such as growth impairment and the need to take the drug for the rest of life, are an issue of concern, especially for children. Recent clinical trials in adults have suggested that some CML patients in deep molecular response on TKI therapy may have a chance to discontinue TKI treatment. However, the biology of CML in children may differ from adults with more aggressive presentation, and data of TKI discontinuation in CML children are limited.

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