Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Yeah, there isn't much sweeter word for a CML patient, or any cancer patient for that matter. My PCR results from my 2 year mark in Ponatinib came back as undetectable. I had been hovering at weak positive for almost a year, being oh so close, but just not there. I got the notice of waiting results late one night, and my heart rate shoots up whenever I click on the test link. And there it was, undetectable.

About 15% to 20% of CML patients reach this milestone over time. While I don't think it is that significant prognoses wise, mentally it's huge. The official status is Complete Molecular Response (CMR), ie. they tested 100,000 cells, and none of them are CML. Most trials and publications look at the prognosis of someone that reached Major Molecular Response (> 0.1%), I haven't found anything that calls out the CMR subgroup specifically.

Now before I get too excited, simple math tells us when you test 100,000 cells and there is about 1 Trillion cells in the body, undetectable does not equate to no CML cells remaining. Cured is a very difficult term for CML patients, since all it takes is one sleeping CML cell to wake up, and start reproducing. But what is does allow me to consider, is potential future participation in studies that take you off the drugs once you have been undetectable for a set number of years. At least now, the clock is ticking on being CMR. But for now, I will appreciate it for what it is.


  1. Good for you!!! It is our little dream to be PCRU. --Caroline Edmiston (Tacoma)

  2. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?