My name is Jerry Mayfield. I am married to Karen, my wife of the last 40+ years. I was 50 years old when diagnosed with CML (Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia) in March of 1999. I am a retired Louisiana State Trooper having spent 21 years with the Louisiana State Police. I have been a computer enthusiast since the early 1980s.
In the days following my diagnosis, I had many questions about CML and my future. Mainly, I wanted to know my treatment options and how long I could expect to live. My doctor said that the only possible cure was a bone marrow transplant and a transplant was possible only if I found a suitable (matched) bone marrow donor. He also said that I had a 40% chance of dying from the transplant procedure itself and that if I made it through the transplant, I had a 50% chance of being cured. Thankfully, those odds have dramatically improved for today's transplant patients. He said that I had two other treatment options, hydrea and interferon. With Hydrea, I could expect fairly few side effects but it only controls the white blood cell count and does nothing to stop the progression of the CML. With hydrea, I could expect maybe two and a half to three and a half years on average. With Interferon, I could expect to live longer, if I respond well, but the side effects are very bad. Basically, most patients feel like they have the flu all of the time. My next question was, "Are there any experimental drugs being tested?" His answer was "No." Well, being the "computer geek" that I am, the first thing I did was to search the Internet for answers. Within a few days, I found an on-line CML discussion group that was discussing a new and innovative "targeted" drug that had started trials about 9 months earlier and was showing very promising results. It was called by the experimental drug name "STI-571" later to be named Gleevec in the U.S.A. and Glivec in other countries. It turned out to be a revolution in the treatment of cancer being the first cancer drug that targeted cancer cells while leaving normal cells intact. It would change the way that CML is treated and open the era of targeted therapy in cancer treatment. The rest is history.
I originally started this site in 1999 for the sole purpose of getting the word out to CML patients about STI-571 (Gleevec/Glivec). After my experience with my doctor telling me that there were no experimental treatments for CML, I realized that many patients would never hear about these potentially, life saving, experimental trials. Later I added patient discussion/support groups and information about all the cutting edge drugs and treatments available for CML. My sole purpose here is to help and support the CML community. This is a "one man show" so please allow time for me to answer your emails. This site is strictly a non-commercial site. It is a "labor of love". I operate it at my own expense and do not intend to make a profit. I do not accept donations. If you would like to donate, please send your donations to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
I am not a doctor. I have no medical qualifications whatsoever. Much of the information contained herein is anecdotal, rather than being authoritative, so it should be used cautiously. I have gathered the data from the Internet, and by talking with doctors involved in drug trials, as well as CML patients, many of whom are participating in drug trials. This site is unofficial and not affiliated with any medical institution, pharmaceutical company or doctor. Nothing contained herein is intended to suggest any treatment to any patient. It is strictly a personal compilation of data on the available drugs and treatments. All decisions about treatments for a medical condition should be made after discussion with a qualified physician.