Defining Goals of Therapy in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

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Jorge E. Cortes, MD, emphasizes proper communication between patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and their providers during the treatment course.

CancerNetwork® spoke with Jorge E. Cortes, MD at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting about how patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) can dictate the goals of therapy for themselves. He also touched upon other critical factors patients and providers alike should consider during treatment.

Although physicians should aim to guide patients on treatment decision-making, Cortes, director of the Georgia Cancer Center at August University, stated that it is ultimately up to the patients to determine what the therapy course should entail regarding factors such as quality of life. Above all else, Cortes emphasized how patients and providers should consistently communicate with each other to ensure that the former is undergoing proper treatment. He suggested that this flow of communication should also extend to conversations between visits so that providers are informed on any issues related to quality of life or toxicity.

Transcript:

One important thing is that the goals of therapy and the assessment of the quality-of-life impact are [the patient’s]. It’s not the physician’s; our role [as physicians] is to guide where the patient’s goals are. [The goals] are [designed] for them [and their quality of life].

There are [adverse] effects that I can quantitate because there are tests. [For example,] how much the elevation of the liver transaminase is. A lot of these are dependent on the patient. [Patients should] always make sure that [they] communicate properly with [their provider] and always express everything that [they’re] feeling. Certainly, not everything that happens is from the disease or the treatment, but at least bring it up and make sure that [they] have a constant flow of communication even between visits to make sure that if something happens, [their] doctor knows and is able to help [them] and not wait until the next visit in 3 or 6 months.

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