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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


VARELA-BRICENO, Carlos et al. Current situation of chronic myeloid leukemia in Costa Rica. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2018, vol.60, n.1, pp.21-26.  Epub Mar 01, 2018. ISSN 0001-6002.

Background and aim:

Chronic myeloid leukemia is a paradigm of reversion of neoplasia with a specific treatment based on tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Although the epidemiological situation has been studied in first world countries, studies in Latin American countries are scarce. In order to update the real situation of the chronic myeloid leukemia in our Central American region, this study aims to describe the epidemiology of chronic myeloid leukemia in Costa Rica.


133 patients with the disease were evaluated through hematological and molecular monitoring. The response of these cases to treatment was analyzed by the following variables: haematological response, molecular response and overall survival, event-free, progression, as well as the prevalence of mutations that confer resistance to treatment.


The complete haematological response was 97.7% and the molecular response greater than 12 months was 43.4%. The follow-up recommended by the European LeukemiaNet guideline was reached in only 68.4% of the patients in the first year, decreasing to 57.7% later on. A total of 92 patients achieved a higher molecular response at some point, of which 87.0% retained a response. The 3-year event-free survival was 65.7%, progression free of 92.2% and overall of 89.2%. The most frequent mutation found in the ABL gene was T315I.


The treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia in Costa Rica presents an efficacy comparable to that reported in other countries, with a lower molecular response than expected due to difficulties in accessing medication and monitoring the disease.

Keywords : Chronic Myeloid Leukemia; BCR-ABL; Protein Kinase Inhibitors; mayor molecular response..

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