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Blood Testing and SCEMBLIX
Blood tests can help your doctor see if you’re moving in the right direction
To see if you are responding to treatment with SCEMBLIX, your doctor will have you go for regular blood tests. Your blood counts should be checked every 2 weeks for the first 3 months and monthly after that.
Monitoring is a key part of treatment
When you have Philadelphia chromosome–positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in chronic phase (CP), monitoring your blood is key. Your doctor will order tests to see if SCEMBLIX is working and to check for side effects.
Discuss your results with your doctor
It’s important to go for any blood tests your doctor prescribes. But you have to go a step further and make sure you discuss the results of your blood work with your doctor. This will help you understand what your results mean.
Tests your doctor may prescribe
- Complete blood count (CBC): The CBC with differential and chemistry profile counts the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood
- Standard cytogenetic test: Using a small sample of your bone marrow, this test measures the number of cells with the Ph chromosome
- Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) test: This test uses fluorescent dyes and a fluorescent microscope to measure the number of cells with the Ph chromosome. Your doctor may order this test because a standard cytogenetic test may not detect all the leukemic cells in the blood
- Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR or molecular) test: qPCR testing is sensitive enough to detect the smallest amount of leukemic cells in the blood and bone marrow. Be sure to go to a lab that uses a standardized scale, called the International Scale, to measure your BCR-ABL1 level
- BCR-ABL1 kinase domain mutation analysis: This test is used to look for mutations in the BCR-ABL1 gene, which may cause certain medications to stop working. Your doctor will order this test to determine if you have a gene mutation, such as the T315I mutation. Learn about SCEMBLIX for Ph+ CML in chronic phase with the T315I mutation
Keep track of your results
You may find it helpful to keep track of the trend in your BCR-ABL1 level. You and your doctor will want to see this level decrease or stay stable over time. If your BCR-ABL1 level starts to increase, your doctor may adjust your dose or consider another treatment option.
Other tests your doctor may require
During your treatment with SCEMBLIX, your doctor will conduct tests to check for side effects. Your doctor will periodically monitor your blood pressure. Your doctor will also check your blood cell counts (white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets), and test for pancreatitis. Your doctor may also order a pregnancy test before you start treatment with SCEMBLIX.
Why it’s important to ask about your results
Your blood work is a key measure of how you are responding to treatment. So don’t be shy. Be sure to discuss your results with your doctor, so you know what your numbers mean. If you don’t understand a term your doctor uses, ask your doctor to explain it.