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Interesting case of CML...

The other day on lunch break I was doing research on CML and I came across this case of a Jaguar who developed CML while in captivity at a zoo in Texas.  The veterinarian comments that this is an extemely rare leukemia for animals and even humans.  It doesn't appear that they're going to study the animal but are placing it in hospice.

I know that CML is associated with radiation exposure; however, cases like this seem to suggest there is something more at work when animals who would have no track record of occupational exposure are developing the disease.  Its possible the stress from adapting to a new domestic environment from its natural habitat has stimulated the progression of the disease.  Could always just be an outlier.


Radiation exposure is just one risk factor with CML. It's the only one that's definitively known, but it's is certainly not the only one that exists.

BCR-Abl, the driver of CML, can be observed in a surprising number of otherwise healthy people who do not go on to develop CML.

The conclusion that might be drawn from this is that the Philidelphia Chromosome might be much more prevalant than you'd expect, and that most people's immune system is capable of dealing with it easily. Those of us who go on to develop CML are the unlucky few. Nobody really knows what causes the fusion gene to occur ... but it's certainly not only ionising radiation.


"Our conclusions? First, it is more likely than not that low doses of ionizing radiation increase the risk of leukemia. Second, hematologists and oncologists need to ensure the benefit of any radiologic procedure they order—no matter how small the dose—outweighs the associated increased risk of developing leukemia (and other cancers). ■"

A few years prior to my CML diagnosis, I had a series of hip/abdomen (i.e. where large blood forming bones are located) CT scans to localize discomfort I was feeling at the time which was later resolved.

I have little doubt my exposure to those scans created a sudden large population of Leukemic stem cells (LSC, 9;22 chromosome translocation) for which my immune system was ill-prepared to destroy (low vitamin D on top of that). This sudden LSC population explosion enabled CML to evade normal control and to then progress.

I will never have a CT scan again. Ever.

(cancer cells are created spontaneously all of the time. What creates disease is when enough of them get created more or less at the same time that they form a colony of cells that can produce enough signal proteins to turn off the immune system from attacking them. "One" cancer cell alone can not produce enough signal protein to shut down killer T-cells. But a whole lot of them created at once by mutation do in fact tell our immune system, ignore these cancer cells - and disease results. It's all about population of these bad cells.)