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World CML Day – September 22

Publish Date: 18/9/2015

The biggest issue faced by people with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is addressed with a new app that will be available on World CML Day – September 22.

CML Today is a treatment adherence app that will be launched as part of the international awareness-building day for this rare blood cancer.

For people with CML, non-adherence to treatment is a well-known problem, as it is for other chronic diseases where people need to take their medication on a daily basis.

This adherence app has been developed, based on the results of an international study by the CML Advocates Network that investigated the motivations and behavioural patterns of adherence in CML.

Aimed at contributing to an overall improvement of adherence in CML, this app can be used on iOS and Android devices to assist people on CML treatment to:

  • track the regular intake of their medicine
  • remind them to take their prescribed medication
  • track their PCR test results and other laboratory parameters

The app is not limited to a specific therapy so it can be used by any person with CML in accordance with current therapeutic standards.

The Leukaemia Foundation recognises World CML Day and will post details about how to download this new app on this website and via social media on September 22.

The Foundation’s Head of Blood Cancer Support, Anthony Steele said advances in treatment and care had transformed CML.

“Today CML is a disease where most people have the chance to live a normal and long life, if treated effectively,” Mr Steele said.

“Right now, an estimated 4000 people in Australia are living with this chronic illness and each year around 330 Australians are diagnosed with the rare form of blood cancer. 

“For most, life expectancy is similar to that of the general population. And yet, people with CML still face huge challenges, like effective management of their side-effects and adherence to therapy.

“They have to learn to live with this long-term cancer.

“One reason why people don’t respond to treatment is that they take themselves off treatment periodically, due to the side-effects, or because they have something important coming up for which they want to feel good,” Mr Steele said.

“What these so-called ‘drug holidays’ can do is reduce your response to the drug therapy and may lead to poorer outcomes.

“It is very important for people with CML to adhere to their therapy and not take drug holidays without the close supervision and permission of their treating team,” he said.

* World CML Day’s date – September 22 – is symbolic because 9/22 represents the genetic change of chromosomes 9 and 22 that is the cause of CML.  

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