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Low WBC and platelet count with Imatinib or Sprycel


My mother was recently (April 2017) diagnosed with CML- chronic phase and she was initially put on 400 mg of generic Imatinib. The result was a drastic loss in the wbc and platelet level. She was then moved to 200 mg Imatinib with not much change. The medication has now been changed to 50 mg Sprycel however, her wbc and platelet count still remains low. There was a lot of dose interruption with both Imatinib and Sprycel in order to maintain the blood count within the normal range.

Has anyone else encountered such a situation?


Hi, Do you have any blood test information for our mother from well before she was diagnosed with CML?. It may be that (like me) she always had a low wbc. My low wbc (originally around 2.5-3 against a "normal of about 8) was identified about 20 years before my CML was diagnosed - in fact it was a wbc check with a new GP after I had moved home which led to my CML Dx. I started on 400Mg imatinib, moved on to 200 because of the depressed wbc, then moved back to 400 as I was not making enough progress on PCR-ABL.  The fact that I now have a wbc around 2, with neutrophils 0.9, is one of the reasons I'm now trying to reduce my imatinib as per the other thread. I've never had a lot of trouble with infections - I have a stock of broad spectrum Antibiotics to take if I get an infection, and they have gone out shelf-life recently because I haven't had to use them. I hope some of this helps.

Thank you. My mom was always healthy and I do not recall having had to do any blood work on her prior to being diagnosed so we have no records. Your feedback is very reassuring.

Could I please ask when were  you diagnosed with CML? Thanks

Hi, My CML diagnosis  was in April 2007, just around my 50th birthday, It took me over a year to get a BCR-ABL less than 0.01, which was as sensitive as the hospital which tested could go at that time. For the last 5 years the increased testing sensitivity has me as less than 0.001.

It might be worth asking your GP if there are any historic records of blood tests for your Mum which could provide a pre-diagnosis wbc. All the best to her and you.


Are you still using this forum? I was wondering how is your mother doing now and how are the counts?