The end goal of the evaluation was to establish recommendations for clinical practice which were specific to CMML. The experts organized their results into three components: diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. Here are some of the highlights:
– Diagnosis: Use blood tests, flow cytometry, bone marrow tests, and molecular genetic tests.
– Prognosis: Patient factors and disease factors need to be considered when evaluating and predicting outcomes.
– Treatment: Will vary depending on the patients. May include- watchful waiting for some patients and stem cell transplants for others.
Not only did this evaluation result in more specific CMML recommendations, it established an international collaborative network which should help us continue to expand our knowledge of this disease in the future.
Even better than this evaluation, is that these experts know their opinion isn’t enough. They emphasize the fact that we need to include more CMML patients (at all stages of the condition) in clinical trials. Yes, their evaluation is progress, but we still need more hard data on this disease.
The moral of the story is- CMML is a unique diagnosis. It can’t be treated like cancers which are “similar”. In order to get the best outcome for patients, we need to evaluate the characteristics of their specific disease. Ultimately, a standardized approach for the condition should help improve outcomes for CMML patients.
You can read more about this investigation here.