International data questions the assumption that chronic myeloid leukaemia is now a ‘solved’ disease

Novartis’ survey of unmet (SUN) needs in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) data has highlighted the requirement for an increased patient voice during treatment discussions. It concludes that such exchanges would balance quality of life, efficacy and tolerability across therapies.

The data has emerged from research in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK and US. The final analysis is expected to be published later this year.

The results reveal necessity for greater communication and shared decision-making between patients and physicians, as well as more tolerable therapy options that do not sacrifice quality of life (QoL) for efficacy.

The survey also underlines an opportunity for physicians, patients, and other stakeholders to collaborate and better meet expectations for CML.

Across the 11 nations, similar themes emerged around treatment goals, joint decision-making and treatment satisfaction.

Indeed, 48% to 66% of physicians reported presenting only one treatment option to patients, while 39% to 43% of patients report only receiving information about one treatment from their physician.

Meanwhile, only 19% to 26% of patients stated that treatment decisions were discussed with their physician. Furthermore, 44% to 48% of physicians reported making treatment decisions with little or no input from the patient across lines of therapy.

CML SUN study author Fabian Lang from Goethe University Hospital, reflected: “CML SUN was designed to address critical unanswered questions amongst people living with chronic myeloid leukaemia and physicians, such as approach to treatment options, differences in efficacy and tolerability priorities, as well as effectiveness around communicating goals to one another.”

He added: “As CML has, in many ways, become a chronic disease thanks to available treatments, it’s important to understand patient and physician priorities, especially as they change across lines of therapy. These CML SUN insights will help us continue to evolve how CML is managed.”

Novartis duly announced the CML SUN results at the 2023 European Haematology Association Hybrid Congress.