I have been on Ponatinib (Iclusig) for more than three months now. Prior to getting my first BCR/ABL with this new TKI, my oncologist wanted me to consider taking the first consultation steps toward a BMT. However, I wanted to wait for my first BCR/ABL test on Ponatinib. The results were quite hopeful, but not spectacular. Before Pontanib, my BCR/ABL ratio was 56%. After three months on this TKI, it is now at 16%. A huge improvement, yes, but the goal in the first three months was to get under 10%. Since I was short of that goal, my oncologist bumped-up my daily dosage of Ponatinib from 15 mg to 30mg per day (doubling the dose). I am fully confident that I will be well under 10% in another three months, perhaps even less than 1% (complete cytogenetic response). Of course, our goal is to get better than .1% (major molecular response).
Given my improvement the first three months on Ponatinib, I cancelled my consultative appointment with the BMT team at the cancer center. In my mind, there is no reason to take such a step - even preliminarily - when I am responding so positively to the Ponatinib treatment.
For the record, I am 60 years old and otherwise healthy.
I am not ready to roll the dice on a BMT. It just seems such a drastic step. I would rather focus on my Ponatinib treatment these next three months.
Of course, we are all in different stages of our treatment, so my experience may or may not be helpful to you.