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Time between original translocation and CML detected

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#1 cometbro


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Posted 10 April 2011 - 09:19 PM

I've been trying to figure out how I got CML and was looking online and noticed that benzene is something that can be linked to Leukemia.  I realized that 4 years ago I was working in a inviation/print shop basement, printing invitations and doing machine calligraphy on envelopes.  The calligraphy beds (mechanical) had a pen holder that held the calligraphy pens and from the computer you would send what to write on the envelopes placed on the calligraphy bed.  These calligraphy pens had a hole at the top where you would squeeze a small ink bottle so that the ink could flow inside the pen.

These pens had to be cleaned daily, so I had to take ink cleaning solution and clean these pens, and of course, my skin would be constantly exposed to both the ink and cleaning solution.  I'm not sure what brand these were but from what I see online, a lot of these products contain benzene.  I worked there for almost 5 years.

It just hit me that it could've possibly been my constant exposure to this that could have caused my CML.  What I don't get is, it was 4 years ago that I last worked there.  I was diagnosed Oct. last year with 209,000wbc, 2.5% blasts, fish 84%.

Can the time from the original translocation and CML detected at my phase really have such a long time in between?  Is CML something that can progress that slowly that you'll see it years later?

#2 Guest_billronm_*

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 11:20 PM

Hi CB,

After my dx I was a basket case for quite a while.At the cc center one time my onc introduced me to a man he was a career serviceman.It might have been the navy. He got cml before he retired. His superiors asked him to do a study on cml. I think it is published somewhere. But his study showed that benzene is the biggest cause of cml. I was born and raised in Erie Pa. there were all kinds of factorys, hammermill paper co. Erie Coke, GE, Erie forge and steel,bucyrus Erie. Erie Coke. and many more. I grew up close to the lake so I was probably inhaling all this stuff most of my life. I even worked for my dad who owned a printing business and I was around all those inks and dyes etc. There were no restrictions on anything that polluted the air at that time. As kids we used to sit on the dock and watch all this smoke coming out of all the places right around us.We thought it was cool. When they first started regulating the pollution that these place were putting in our air all they did was open their smokestacks at night. I think the economy was still recovering from the depression. Erie became a very prosperous town, not in my neighborhood, but you should see the houses those people built back then. Now they're college dorms and museums even our courthouses, all kinds of old mansions deteriorating. The government didn't care everybody was making money.No fines or anything. My grandfather was an electrition he dropped dead at the age of 45. Here he was working on the atomic bomb and didn't even know it. Everybody had their jobs to do and they had no idea what they were working on.

I have spent 4 years trying to figure out how I got it also. I have a vascular problem since 1993 and I have to get bloodwork every 6 months since 1993. It always was fine. I had my regular bloodwork done in jan or feb 2007 then I had it done in aug 2007  and I had cml we will never know the  actual cause.

                                                Hang in there sincerely Billie                   

#3 CallMeLucky


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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:06 AM

I believe it can.  It is a slow moving disease.  I recall my doctor mentioning a patient who she once had, that for one reason or another they had blood samples of his from before he had gotten sick.  Somewhere in the range of a few years back.  They pulled the old samples and studied them and she said they found evidence of CML.  So it does appear you can have it for a few years before it shows up.  While I have no idea what caused my CML (I never worked with benzene that I recall), I have a fairly good idea of when the onset was given some health issues that I was going through and various amounts of blood work that had been done over a certain period of time.  In my case, I believe the onset of the disease was around 2 years prior to them diagnosing me when I went for an annual physical and they found elevated WBC.  At that time I was only around 35000 so it was still early.  I had no other symtoms and was feeling perfectly fine.

Date  -  Lab  -  Scale  -  Drug  -  Dosage MG  - PCR
2010/Jul -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 1.2%
2010/Oct -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.25%
2010/Dec -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.367%
2011/Mar -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.0081%
2011/Jun -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0%
2011/Sep -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.00084%
2011/Dec -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0%
2012/Mar -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.004%
2012/Jun -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0%
2012/Sep -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0%
2012/Dec -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2013/Jan -  Quest  -  IS  -  Sprycel  -  50-60-70  - 0%
2013/Mar -  Quest  -  IS  -  Sprycel  -  60-70  - 0%
2013/Apr -  CUMC  -  Non-IS  -  Sprycel  - 50 - 0.036%
2013/May -  CUMC  -  Non-IS  -  Sprycel  - 50 - 0.046%
2013/Jun -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 50 - 0.0239%
2013/Jul -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 70 - 0.0192%
2013/Jul -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 70 - 0.0034%
2013/Oct -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 70 - 0.0054%
2014/Jan -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 70 - 0.0093%
2014/Mar -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0.013%
2014/Apr -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0.0048%
2014/Jul -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2014/Nov -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0.047%
2014/Dec -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2015/Mar -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2015/Jun -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2015/Sep -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2015/Dec -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2016/Mar -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0.0228%
2016/Jun -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2016/Sep -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2016/Dec -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2017/Mar -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2017/Jun -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2017/Sep -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2017/Dec - Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  -  100 - 0%


#4 Trey


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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:07 AM

Benzene has never been "officially" linked to CML, only to AML and some other diseases.  That does not mean it isn't a causative factor in CML, but it is not officially recognized as such.  Very few of us will ever know the cause, if there was even an outside cause.

Time from the original CML translocation to diagnosis varies.  After the atomic bombing of Japan, people developed CML at higher rates during the next 20 years, but most of them occurred after 2 years and peaked at the 7 year point.  It depends on whether the original translocating cell went into long term resting state (quiescence) immediately after the translocation occurred; if so, the CML could develop many years later.  But in general, a rough estimate of the average timeline for most of us would likely be a few years.

#5 Happycat


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Posted 11 April 2011 - 11:36 AM

Hi, Cometbro,

I have much the same questions as you do, since I am a chemist and have worked with benzene in the past.  For me, the use was occasional, maybe once every 2 years.  Since I started managing a group and got out the lab, probably the last time I handled benzene was maybe 4-5 yrs ago.  Since the doctor asked about my exposure to benzene, I have been wondering if my occasional exposures could have added up to genetic damage and bcr-abl expression.  (Frankly, I'd like to warn my coworkers.  Some of them can be remarkably blase' about chemical exposures.)

So I did some research this morning. According to the latest epa summary on benzene carcinogenicity (2006), yes, benzene is associated with leukemogenic processes.  However, as Trey said, there is not enough strong evidence that benzene is a causative agent for CML.  Other leukemias, yes, but not so much CML.  Some studies indicate an increased risk for CML, but not as high as other types of leukemia.  Some studies really don't show any increased risk.

I could not find anything definitive on the latency period between benzene exposure and development of leukemias.  The study of Pliofilm workers is considered to be the best, because those workers were primarily exposed to benzene and benzene only (unlike chemists).  Out of 9 leukemias observed, one developed 2 yrs after exposure, another after 3.5 yrs, and the rest didn't develop until 15+ yrs after exposure.  Kinda all over the map.

Since hard data on benzene exposure (in terms of actual amounts measured in the air) is hard to come by, I think the uncertainty will remain for quite awhile.  It is only recently that employers have been required to institute measurements on exposure while working with benzene (via badges or other monitors).  Thus, they might have enough info some day, but that doesn't answer your question now.

If you are concerned about the potential of benzene exposure, you should be able to contact your previous employer and request an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the ink and cleaning solutions.  If they can't help you, ask for the name and address/tel no of the manufacture of the inks/cleaning solutions.  They should definitely have an MSDS for their products.  You might find there was no benzene involved at all.



#6 cometbro


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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:56 PM

Thanks for the information guys.   I will definitely request an MSDS for the ink and cleaning solutions.  It seems im going through a mini non-acceptance phase of CML and want to have a reason for having this.  I am relatively young and feel strong and kind of feel there should be a reason.

It's like with food allergies (i'm allergic to shellfish).  Medicine has advanced so much but we still don't know what causes food allergies in certain people.  My mother and father can eat shrimp all day, yet I would asphyxiate even getting near it.  In a way, having CML has made me a little calmer, wiser, and more attentive to what I eat and do, and that is not a bad thing.

#7 eithne01


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Posted 27 April 2011 - 04:08 PM

Billie,just out of curiosity do you know if any of the other guys you hung out with got CML?

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