Glossary of Terms for Ph+ CML
Apoptosis: The body's normal way of getting rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. The process of apoptosis may be blocked in cancer cells. Also called programmed cell death.
Bcr-Abl protein: The abnormal protein that causes Ph+ CML. It results from the abnormal Philadelphia chromosome. It drives the growth and multiplication of abnormal white blood cells in Ph+ CML.
Bone marrow: The spongy inner part of bones where blood cells are made.
Cell proliferation: An increase in the number of cells as a result of cell growth and cell division.
Cytogenetic response: A treatment-induced decrease in leukemic cells containing the Ph+ chromosome. A complete cytogenetic response occurs when no Ph+ cells are found.
Enzyme: A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH): A type of cytogenetic test that your doctor may use to look for the Bcr-Abl protein. It can be done using either blood or bone marrow cells.
Hematologic response: A reduction in blood cell levels due to treatment. A complete hematological response occurs when the number of all blood cells returns to normal levels and the spleen has returned to a normal size.
Karyotyping: A type of cytogenetic test your doctor may use to examine cells in a bone marrow sample. It looks at all of the chromosomes and can detect the presence of the Ph+ chromosome and other genetic abnormalities.
Molecular response: A treatment-induced reduction or elimination of the abnormal Bcr-Abl protein in the bone marrow or blood. Molecular response is measured by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A complete molecular response means the Bcr-Abl protein is no longer detected.
Myeloid: A type of cell found in bone marrow.
Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome: The abnormal chromosome that is responsible for the production of Bcr-Abl, the cause of Ph+ CML.
Ph+ chronic myeloid leukemia: A slowly progressing cancer that makes the body produce too many abnormal myeloid white blood cells. Ph+ CML is caused by the presence of the Ph chromosome.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): A very sensitive test your doctor can use to identify Ph+ CML in your blood or bone marrow. It measures the level of Bcr-Abl. It can detect 1 abnormal Ph+ cell in 1 million normal cells.
Protein: An essential component of all living cells.
White blood cell: Cells made by bone marrow that help the body fight infection and other diseases. In leukemia, the body makes too many of these cells, which do not function properly.