A friend of mine was recently asking about my treatment and why they don't just do a transplant now, seeing how it is the only definitive cure. Good question! The reason is two fold....
1. Even though the a BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) is the only proven cure, it is not a guarantee. I don't know the exact statistics, but it seems like more than half the people who get a BMT have some type of relapse. In other words, they still have the disease.
2. Even at its most optimistic, the one year survival rate of a BMT in Chronic phase (my phase) is about 60%. If I have a progression of the disease, one year survival after a BMT can drop to as low as 20%. Maybe Natalie and Umberto can explain all the various pitfalls of BMT.
So as you can plainly see, I have a much better chance of surviving with medication than with a BMT. Plus, the cost of transplantation are very high considering all the genetic typing, radiation, harvesting of cells, and post operative treatment.
To show how far medicine has come, my oncologist told me that just 15 years ago, the ONLY treatment for CML was BMT. Now there are three medications out there that work. Hope this helps.
Ok, here is picture number three for the Caption contest!!