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Cml patient’s immunity

Hey everyone,

Will contacting a general infection be a complication in a cml patient? Any extra precaution that has to be taken? 

It all depends on where on the treatment timeline the CML patient resides.

Early in treatment and just prior to diagnosis, infection risks and complications are high as CML white blood cells do not perform as well as normal white cells.

However, after a patient achieves Cytogenetic Remission (FISH = zero) or better (major molecular remission), immune response to an infection tends to be better than normal. The reason for this is the clearance of CML cells by therapy induces a near complete turnover of the immune system replenishing CML white cells (primarily neutrophils) with new healthy normal white cells. This is the key idea to keep in mind. Treatment success restores a healthy blood system - often a blood system much better than even in so-called normal non-CML people because it forces stem cells to restore the blood system (see Valter Longo's research). As long as  blood counts are normal or near normal following TKI treatment, a CML patients response to a general infection will be no different than a non-CML person and may, in fact, be better.

In my own case, I take no extra precautions. Since diagnosis and getting my vitamin D level raised, I have not had a flu, cold, sore or anything related in more than 10 years.


My brother who is a CML patient has a bcr abl gene of 8% that has come down from 53% 3 months back when he was first diagnosed. His WBC count is normal and his spleen size is normal too. Which stage of treatment is he in? Will his immunity be fine now? 

His immunity should be fairly normal.
At his stage, i was planning a trip backpacking in Sri Lanka and my doc ran an immune planel to ensure everything was fine and it was.

Are you worried or his he?

Im wondering why you are the one posting with his stats.

From my experience, most people in my orbit were a lot more freaked by my diagnosis than me and for years afterwards people kept opening with "hows your health", long after cml was background issue for me personally. Focusing on the future and the rest of life is important, even more so if the patient is struggling. We are not defined by this condition.

53% at diagnosis would indicate he was diagnosed very early in the disease progression, normally is 100%>

53% to 8% in 3 month is indicative of log reduction. Ie Ideal path to MMR

You are absolutely right EvaH. This disease definitely does not define him. It’s just that he informed about his condition to us just 2 weeks back and it was too much to digest for me and my family as we didn’t know anything about this condition except that it is Cancer. Plus the fact that he is just 30 years young. 

Now as we are understanding this condition more and more, we are settling down mentally and extremely grateful that it is a manageable condition unlike other Cancers. 

Thank you so much for replying!!! This group is truly a blessing. God bless!!