It seems like lately there have been a flurry of articles about the potential for some CML patients to stop treatment. We have write ups about some new trials that are underway as well as focused on reducing dosage and possibly stopping treatment. I found it interesting when I received an email today for CMLEarth today, which is a support network run by Novartis.
"While there are several drugs available to treat Ph+ CML, none of them provide a cure, and they must be taken regularly every day in order to maintain their efficacy. So when a cure isn't your goal, what is? That's an important question to answer, because knowing your goal means understanding what you're getting out of treatment, and why you should stick with it. Fortunately, for Ph+ CML, the goals of treatment are clear.
The two main goals of treatment of Ph+ CML are:
1. Reducing the amount of leukemic cells in your body
2. Preventing disease progression
By understanding these goals, you'll always know what you're working towards. You'll know why it's important to remember your meds each day, and why you are staying on treatment in the long run. In essence, knowing your goal makes it easier to incorporate your treatment into your everyday life. "
Some subtle and less than subtle messages there. I'm not saying they are wrong, in fact I think there is some danger in all these articles because there are people who will read them and decide to stop taking their meds on their own. So not trying to be a pessimist and call out the big bad pharmaceutical company, but if I did want to be cynical you could really see this in a way that makes it seem like they are trying to dissuade you from thinking about cessation.