Hi Teds ....
I was on Sprycel for a total of 2 weeks at 70 mg.
I have no idea why my FISH went to zero, but I suspect my immune system may be functioning better and "mopping up".
All I know is that on Gleevec not much was happening at the molecular level. Sprycel works differently and for all I know works for me in a very powerful way.
When my ANC counts get back to 1.0 and above, I have a big decision to make about going back on Sprycel. It all depends on what my PCR level turns out to be. I'll know that in a week or so. If my PCR has dropped orders of magnitude (1, 2 or more log reduction), then I will stay off Sprycel and track monthly. A de-facto trial.
Apparently I had no good cells to speak of when this adventure began - but my body is now making them? That is clearly what the FISH is showing. Gleevec was not sufficient. It gave me relief from 'disease', but did not battle the bcr-abl sufficiently. Sprycel was potent enough to drive me into severe myelosuppression from which the CML itself is not recovering. But my normal cells do seem to be re-populating.
Perhaps now I am a recovering CML'r - and my body is getting rid of the residual on its own (RCT will weigh in on this point) and slowly re-populating my WBC's. Like Dr. Cortes said, my pattern of recovery is that of a stem cell transplant. Fascinating.
This is a topic for another thread - but I believe many in the general population have bcr-abl genes come into being as a function of normal cell division and biochemistry. The level of bcr-abl in the blood is probably below detection for most. And the human body identifies it and defends against it. All normal.
And then for some of us, we lose the ability to defend against the bad gene and it grows unchecked until we are sick or we have a blood test. The TKI's don't eliminate CML, but TKI's do let us cope with it. In my case - maybe - just maybe - Sprycel enabled my normal system to get ahead of the disease with Sprycel reducing the enormous burden in my blood at the higher stem cell level (not THEE stem cell that starts it all, but the ones tied to Neutrophils). I have always had a problem with just one line of cells ... although my platelets jumped after I went off Gleevec - and they did not jump after going off Sprycel. I am impressed with Spryce;.
Pure speculation - but I believe that if our immune system can be reset (t-cell; nk cells) to identify bcr-abl and kill it - then we have a cure.
I do not think I am cured, however. I think I am heading into a natural remission as part of a cycle. All Sprycel did was get me over the hump. I suspect the bcr-abl stem cells are quiescent right now. And if that is truly the case then drug breaks for many may be what is in our future and we don't have to stay on these TKI's like we are told to do so now. I do believe that if I stay off Sprycel, eventually my bcr-abl counts will come back. But when - in six months, two years, 10 years....?
Right now my FISH = zero. Perhaps someone would like to comment on what they think it means.
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"