Track Ph+ CML

Illustrative only, not an actual patient.

Talk to your doctor about

TRACKING YOUR PROGRESS

Illustrative only, not an actual patient.

Talk to your doctor about

TRACKING YOUR PROGRESS

How do polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests help track the progress of my treatment?

As you stay on treatment, a goal is to reduce the number of leukemia cells in your body. This means the tests used to track your progress must be able to find low numbers of leukemia cells. A PCR test is the ONLY test that can find a single cancer cell among 1 million normal cells.

The PCR test on the International Scale helps your doctor track the progress of your treatment by:

  • Measuring the BCR-ABL levels that cause leukemia and tracking the results over time

  • Using a consistent scale to ensure reliable results

  • Showing if you are meeting your treatment goals

How often should I get a PCR test?

Ask your doctor about getting tested every 3 months to track your progress until your BCR-ABL levels are down to 1%, as recommended by national guidelines.

After reaching 1%, national guidelines recommend that patients continue getting tested every 3 months for 2 years and then every 3 to 6 months afterward. If your BCR-ABL levels start to go up again, your doctor needs to know right away.

What does my BCR-ABL number mean?

It may be helpful for you to understand the results of your PCR report. To make sure your test is done the same way each time, ask if your doctor is using a lab that conducts your PCR test based on the International Scale.

Throughout your treatment, you may see your numbers drop by levels of 10. This is called a log reduction. The log reductions of BCR-ABL levels found on your PCR test reports are a way to show the decrease of leukemia in your body.

Visualize your log reductions

These objects are approximate representations of the total amount of BCR-ABL in your blood throughout your body at diagnosis and at each log reduction. They can help you visualize the change in the amount of BCR-ABL in your blood as you progress with treatment.

  • Softball

    AT DIAGNOSIS Before you start treatment, the amount of leukemia cells in your body is similar to a 10-centimeter tumor-about the size of a softball.

  • Egg

    1-LOG REDUCTION A log reduction means that the level of leukemia cells in your body is 10 times lower than when you were diagnosed. This amount of leukemia is similar to a 5-centimeter tumor-about the size of an egg.

  • Grape

    2-LOG REDUCTION A 2-log reduction means that the level of leukemia cells in your body is 100 times lower than when you first started treatment. This amount of leukemia is similar to a 2.5-centimeter tumor-about the size of a grape.

  • Lima Bean

    3-LOG REDUCTION A 3-log reduction means that the level of leukemia cells in your body is 1,000 times lower than when you first started treatment. This amount of leukemia is similar to a 1-centimeter tumor-about the size of a lima bean.

Softball

Click the arrows above to compare visualizations of log reductions

Visualizations of log reductions

Images not to scale.

AT DIAGNOSIS

Softball

Image not to scale.

Before you start treatment, the amount of leukemia cells in your body is similar to a 10-centimeter tumor-about the size of a softball.

1-LOG REDUCTION

Egg

Image not to scale.

A log reduction means that the level of leukemia cells in your body is 10 times lower than when you were diagnosed. This amount of leukemia is similar to a 5-centimeter tumor-about the size of an egg.

2-LOG REDUCTION

Grape

Image not to scale.

A 2-log reduction means that the level of leukemia cells in your body is 100 times lower than when you first started treatment. This amount of leukemia is similar to a 2.5-centimeter tumor-about the size of a grape.

3-LOG REDUCTION

Lima Bean

Image not to scale.

A 3-log reduction means that the level of leukemia cells in your body is 1,000 times lower than when you first started treatment. This amount of leukemia is similar to a 1-centimeter tumor-about the size of a lima bean.