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Can a person with CML live a normal life?

Q: My father has CML. We found about this last year. We took him to Vellore CMC hospital and they started Veenat 4 capsules per day for him. He is 56 years of age. My question is will he be back to normal after the doses? How long can he live and can he live a normal life? Are there any side effects of this medicine? Can CML be cured with this?

A:Patients with CML lead a normal quality of life. Veenat (imatinib) is first targeted drug killing the CML cells specifically. It is not a chemotherapy drug. Thus the drug has no chemo like side effects. The drug is well tolerated. Side effects include water retention and depigmentation. More than 99% patients benefit. Cytogenetic remissions (improvement in Ph chromosome) is possible in over 80% patients. This is responsible for improvement in survival of patients. These patients can go on to live for several years even beyond 10 years. The exact survival can not be predicted now because this is a new drug and CML is a slow cancer. Cure is not possible with this drug usually. Stem cell transplant also is a possibility at a later date.

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