The impact of symptom burden on patient quality of life in chronic myeloid leukemia

David Cella*, Cindy J. Nowinski, Olga Frankfurt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase are living longer on BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy, placing emphasis on issues related to symptom burden and quality of life (QoL). Furthermore, the potential for adverse events with longer-term therapy may result in dose adjustments, treatment discontinuation, or nonadherence, all of which may negatively affect treatment efficacy and QoL. However, instruments to specifically measure the impact of symptom burden and treatment on health-related QoL in patients with CML have not been widely available until recently. The FACT-Leu is a validated tool that measures leukemia-specific and more general QoL concerns. Other tools specific to CML, including the MDASI-CML and the EORTC QLQ-CML24, are undergoing validation. Here, we describe TKI therapy-related symptom burden and its effect on adherence and treatment response, outline instruments to measure symptom burden and QoL in CML, and summarize the available clinical data on QoL of patients on TKI therapy. QoL is an aspect of CML disease management that will continue to gain prominence in the coming years. We believe that the instruments developed now will have a role in informing treatment decisions in routine practice and allowing clinicians to proactively address issues related to symptom burden and QoL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-147
Number of pages15
JournalOncology (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Adherence
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Symptom burden
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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