Novartis Survey Challenges Perception of CML as a Resolved Disease, Revealing Ongoing Impact and Need for Attention

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Novartis Survey Challenges Perception of CML as a Resolved Disease, Revealing Ongoing Impact and Need for Attention

Source: Novartis

On June 9, 2023, Novartis reveals CML (chronic myeloid leukemia) SUN Results at 2023 European Hematology Association (EHA) Hybrid Congress

“CML SUN was designed to address critical unanswered questions amongst people living with chronic myeloid leukemia and physicians, such as approach to treatment options, differences in efficacy and tolerability priorities, as well as effectiveness around communicating goals to one another,” says CML SUN Steering Committee member and study author Fabian Lang, MD, Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany. “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 presented findings from the CML SUN study conducted across 11 countries at the 2023 European Hematology Association (EHA) Hybrid Congress. The data revealed consistent themes related to treatment goals, joint decision-making, and treatment satisfaction among both patients and physicians.

Patients expressed their treatment goals, which included the desire to halt or slow down disease progression, improve or maintain their quality of life (QoL), and effectively manage or minimize treatment side effects. In contrast, physicians tended to prioritize treatment efficacy as the primary goal.

The study also found that a significant percentage of physicians (ranging from 48% to 66%) presented only one treatment option to their patients across different lines of therapy. Similarly, a substantial portion of patients (ranging from 39% to 43%) reported receiving information about only one treatment option from their physicians.

Furthermore, the study revealed that a relatively small percentage of patients (ranging from 19% to 26%) stated that treatment decisions were discussed and made jointly with their physicians. In contrast, a higher percentage of physicians (ranging from 44% to 48%) reported making treatment decisions with limited input or no involvement from the patient across various stages of therapy.

Although most patients and physicians expressed satisfaction with the efficacy of current treatments, a significant number of patients reported that their QoL was impacted by treatment-related factors. These included physical or emotional fatigue, difficulties in maintaining an active lifestyle or social interactions, and persistent concerns and stress regarding the effectiveness of the treatment.

The CML SUN study sheds light on the alignment and disparities between patient and physician perspectives in terms of treatment goals, decision-making, and the impact of current therapies on patients’ lives. These findings underscore the need for improved communication, shared decision-making, and holistic approaches to address the challenges faced by patients with CML.

“People living with chronic myeloid leukemia must be able to have open and honest conversations with their doctors about their treatment goals, how medication side effects impact their lives, as well as their emotional and mental well-being,” explained Lisa Machado, CML SUN Steering Committee member, founder of the Canadian CML Network and executive producer of “We have come a long way in terms of how we treat CML, with innovative therapies making it possible for people to live longer and better lives with this disease. But there’s still more work to be done, especially when it comes to ensuring the relationships between doctors and patients are based on shared decision-making, a clear understanding of quality of life needs and expectations for the future.”

The findings mentioned are derived from data collected in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK, and the USA. Final analyses of the data are anticipated to be published later this year.

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