The internationally recognized subspecialists at the OSUCCC – James believe the best way to treat patients and manage their disease successfully is to deliver the latest, most effective treatments available and to work with nationally and internationally renowned experts to develop the newest and best chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treatments and programs.

Many effective CML treatments are available to control the disease and help patients lead normal lives.

Because these renowned subspecialists understand that CML is a complex disease, they use the most effective means of treating patients through an expert team approach from across multiple medical disciplines. These teams also run groundbreaking studies and, through detailed observations, evaluate the latest treatments and targeted therapies.

The OSUCCC – James team of experts also analyzes the genetic composition of each individual’s leukemia to determine the best possible treatment, offering improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Options

The OSUCCC – James is a leader in offering some of the world’s most advanced, sophisticated treatments for leukemia patients.

No cancer is routine, and the OSUCCC – James subspecialists will recommend one or more of the following treatments based on your individual needs to manage your chronic myeloid leukemia (CML):

Targeted Therapies

Targeted therapies are drugs that attack cancer cells without destroying healthy surrounding cells. These therapies are called tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and they’re particularly effective for treating CML, with fewer harmful side effects than with traditional chemotherapy.

Leukemia Biomarker Testing

The drugs work by blocking the enzyme (called tyrosine kinase) that causes stem cells to develop into more white blood cells (leukemia cells or blasts) than the body needs.

For newly diagnosed CML patients in the chronic phase, the OSUCCC – James experts may recommend one of the following drugs for initial treatment: imatinib mesylate, nilotinib or dasatinib.


Chemotherapy destroys the leukemia cells or stops them from dividing. Chemotherapy drugs can be taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle. When the drugs enter the bloodstream, they can reach cancer cells throughout the body (called systemic chemotherapy). Combination chemotherapy uses more than one anticancer drug.

Chemotherapy treatment usually takes place in an outpatient part of the hospital, at your doctor's office or in your home. Some people may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.

High-Dose Chemotherapy with Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cell transplants enable patients to receive chemotherapy therapy treatment, and then later replace blood-forming cells that have been destroyed by cancer treatment.

Stem cells, which are immature blood cells, are removed from the blood or bone marrow of either the patient or a donor, and then they are frozen and stored. After chemotherapy is completed, the stored stem cells are thawed and given back to the patient through an infusion. These reinfused stem cells grow into and restore the body's blood cells.

If a stem cell transplant is needed, the OSUCCC – James is the only central Ohio hospital to offer stem cell transplantation and has one of the most active, sophisticated programs in the entire nation.


Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, boosts a CML patient's immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or in a laboratory are used to direct or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer. Treatments can include treating patients with proteins that block tumor growth (called monoclonal antibodies) and vaccines.


Some patients who have CML need to have their spleen removed if it becomes too large or stops working properly. This procedure is called a splenectomy.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Research & Clinical Trials

For leukemia patients, clinical trials mean hope.

The OSUCCC – James has more than 500 open clinical trials at any given time, with some of the world’s latest discoveries available to clinical trial patients right here in Columbus, Ohio. In fact, patients have access to more of this nation’s leading-edge, targeted treatments and drugs than at nearly any hospital in the region.

Patients can enter clinical trials before, during or after starting their individual treatments.

The OSUCCC – James is one of only a few U.S. cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute to conduct phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. These trials go only to centers that demonstrate an exemplary capacity for research and clinical care, the expertise to deliver the latest in treatments and the infrastructure to interpret and track treatment results.

If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a leukemia specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

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