I failed to respond adequately to Gleevec at first diagnosis. At diagnosis I was 100% FISH and 155% PCR.
I was on/off for about six months with FISH dropping slightly. I don't have my data in front of me, but this is what I recall:
I had to stop therapy to allow myelosuppression to recover. Dr. Cortes did not want me taking STIM shots. He told me that drug break is preferred in my case as long as blasts were very low. And mine were ... During that time I started Taking Curcumin working my way up to 8 grams per day.
During the drug break and while I started Curcumin, my FISH dropped to 50%, PCR remained high, but lowered than at diagnosis. My Neutrophils started to recover, but very slowly. Once over 1,000, I was started on Spyrcel at 70mg. It collapsed my white cells. I had a Neutrophil reading of 100 when I was told to stop and told to go to the emergency room if I developed any fever whatsoever. I stayed off Sprycel for about 3 months - no TKI (it was wonderful!!). I was tested weekly during this time to monitor my neutrophils. They rebounded from 100 to 500 quickly.
I kept taking Curcumin, however. My FISH stayed the same (around 50%) no change and no change in PCR during those three months.
I re-started Sprycel at 20mg 3 months later once my Neutrophils climbed above 1,000. It was at this point that Dr. Cortes told me that the clock starts. This is the point he started to count how long it took for milestones to be achieved (in a long winded answer to your question).
After 20mg. re-start, my FISH fell to zero in about 7 months. My PCR fell to 0.1% a few months later. A few months after that my PCR dropped another log to about 0.01%. I have been bouncing around this number ever since. I have had PCR readings of 0.001, 0.005, 0.002, etc., but never have I seen a <0.000 or "undetected". I tried going to 40mg. of Sprycel 3-6 months ago to see if it could push me into undetected territory - but all it seems to have done is tank my Neutrophils again. I fully expect my latest PCR test to come back at around 0.01.
Diagnosed 11 May 2011 (100% FiSH, 155% PCR)
with b2a2 BCR-ABL fusion transcript coding for the 210kDa BCR-ABL protein
Sprycel: 20 mg per day - taken at lights out with Quercetin and/or Magnesium Taurate
6-8 grams Curcumin C3 complex.
2015 PCR: < 0.01% (M.D. Anderson scale)
2016 PCR: < 0.01% (M.D. Anderson scale)
March 2017 PCR: 0.01% (M.D. Anderson scale)
June 2017 PCR: "undetected"
September 2017 PCR: "undetected"