Hospitalization for chronic myelogenous leukemia

Selina M. Luger, MD
Last Modified: September 22, 2002


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

One of my close friends has recently been diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. Is there a possibility of them being hospitalized from the disease?



Selina M. Luger, MD, Director of the Leukemia Program and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

CML or chronic myelogenous leukemia is often diagnosed when patients are found to have high white blood cell counts. The disease is characterized by an abnormality in the genes or DNA of the blood cells. Usually patients are diagnosed in the chronic phase and most of the treatment for chronic phase CML is given as an outpatient. There is usually no need for hospitalization. Depending on the age of your friend and on their response to the treatment chosen, there may be some discussion of bone marrow transplantation, and this would require hospitalization and be a quite complicated therapy. Fortunately, there have been some exciting new developments in our understanding of CML and its treatment and many patients are now being successfully treated without a bone marrow transplant.