Laboratory Monitoring of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in Patients on Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors

  • Richa Chauhan
  • Sudha Sazawal
  • H. P. Pati
Review Article


Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by translocation of genetic material from chromosome 9 to chromosome 22 to form a fusion gene (BCR-ABL1) that is responsible for abnormal tyrosine kinase activity and alteration of various downstream signaling pathways. In addition to morphological diagnosis of CML phase, it is essential to detect BCR-ABL1 fusion by either metaphase cytogenetics or reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction that also determines type of mRNA transcript. Once treatment begins, monitoring the response to Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) using standardized techniques and guidelines is important to check for failure of response and thus, plan timely intervention by increasing the dose of TKI or opting for second line TKIs. The goal is to stop evolution of CML to accelerated phase or blast crisis that has poor response to treatment. Also, it is desirable to achieve good outcomes and even treatment free remission in patients of CML on TKI. Thus, molecular monitoring by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is done at regular intervals. There are international recommendations and quality control measures to standardize the reporting of fusion gene transcript levels by quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) in CML to achieve and maintain sensitivity in molecular detection of CML disease burden. Various state-of-the-art molecular techniques have emerged to accurately determine the number of fusion-gene transcript levels. This review highlights various methodologies and their practical implications in management of CML patients on TKI.


Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Monitoring Tyrosine kinase inhibitors Reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction 



We would like to acknowledge Dr. Rekha Chaubey Ph.D scientist, Dr. Kanwaljeet Singh, M.D and the technical staff of molecular laboratory at department of hematology, AIIMS for their dedicated work and support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human and/or Animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HematologyAll India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)New DelhiIndia

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