Romania included in European programme for chronic myelogenous leukemia

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Romania has been included in the European programme for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), for the first time that a consensus was reached over the establishment of a European registry of CML patients.

Secretary General of the International Association of Comparative Research on Leukemia and Related Diseases Professor Rudiger Hehlmann told the Romanian journalists attending the EUTOS European Treatment Outcome Study Conference on European treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia, organised by Novartis Oncology, that the establishment of a single European registry is aimed at identifying and monitoring patients and improve treatment all over the continent.

Hehlmann also said that Romania has two laboratories included in the European programme, in Bucharest and Codlea, and well-trained specialists who were quick to respond to this initiative. The purpose of this, he added, is to educate both doctors and patients in new therapies, the incidence and management of this illness.

He underscored that Romania does not have sufficient resources for treatment, which is costly. The treatment per patient is 30,000 euros a year, but Romanian patients qualify for assistance from Novartis Oncology. Hehlmann said the incidence of leukemia in Romania is 1 in 100,000 inhabitants, with nearly 200 new cases recorded every year.

Elsewhere in the world, the CML incidence is 1-2 in 100,000 inhabitants per year. The diseases affects mainly middle-aged people and the elderly, with the average age of diagnosis being between 55 and 60. Nearly 2 percent of the CML cases are diagnosed in children.

The EUTOS for chronic myelogenous leukemia was started in October 2007 as a collaborative effort of more than 1,000 specialists from 32 European countries. Today in Barcelona a European conference discussed expanding therapy options in the treatment of CML.

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