Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) – Everything You Need To Know!

Pathophysiology of chronic myeloid leukemia

Several genetic alterations cause the majority of cancers as they overlap one after another. However, chronic myeloid leukemia is one of the few that does not require many genetic alterations to appear. 90% of cases of chronic myeloid leukemia are triggered by one specific and single mutation, which is known as the Philadelphia chromosome.

This genetic abnormality consists of translocation of genetic content between chromosome 22 and chromosome 9. Part of the genetic information expressed in chromosome 22 sticks to the long arm of chromosome 9. This relocates a gene called ABL, which is an oncogene that becomes activated and triggers the abnormal function of an enzyme called tyrosine protein kinase.

This abnormality is found in the hematopoietic stem cells, which are located in the bone marrow. These stem cells are responsible for the formation of new blood cells, including red blood cells and white blood cells. But chronic myeloid leukemia features an arrestment of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in their immature form by accelerated formation of new cells.

The causes of the chromosomic alteration that gives rise to chronic myeloid leukemia is not known. It does not have an important genetic predisposition, and it appears to be affected by ionizing radiation and environmental agents such as benzene.