Jun 09, 2023
  • Survey of Unmet Needs in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML SUN) data signal need for amplified patient voice during treatment discussions that balance quality of life (QoL), efficacy, and tolerability goals across all lines of therapy 
  • Data reveal necessity for greater communication and shared decision-making between patients and physicians, as well as more tolerable therapy options that do not sacrifice QoL for efficacy
  • CML SUN highlights an opportunity for physicians, patients, and other stakeholders to collaborate and better meet expectations for CML

Basel, June 9, 2023 – Novartis today announced results from its CML SUN at the 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.”

Across 11 countries, similar themes emerged from the data around treatment goals, joint decision-making, and treatment satisfaction. Specifically: 

  • In their goals for treatment, patients focus on stopping or slowing disease progression, maintaining/improving QoL, and minimizing/managing side effects, while physicians place greater emphasis on treatment efficacy.
  • Across lines of therapy, 48% to 66% of physicians report presenting only one treatment option to patients, while 39% to 43% of patients report only receiving information about one treatment from their physician.
  • Only 19% to 26% of patients state that treatment decisions are discussed and decided together with their physician, while 44% to 48% of physicians report making treatment decisions with little to no input from the patient across lines of therapy.
  • Most patients and physicians report being satisfied with the efficacy of current treatments. Still, many patients report treatments affect QoL, including physical or emotional fatigue, difficulty in exercising and maintaining social lives, and constant worry/stress about treatment effectiveness.

“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 Healthing.ca. “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.”

These results are based on data from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, UK, and USA. Final analyses of the data are expected to be published later in the year.

About Novartis Commitment to CML
Novartis has a long-standing scientific commitment to patients living with CML. For more than 20 years, our bold science has helped transform CML into a chronic disease for many patients. Despite these advancements, we’re not standing still. We continue to research ways to target the disease, seeking to address the challenges with treatment resistance and/or intolerance that many patients face. Novartis also continues to reimagine CML care through its commitment to sustainable access for patients and collaboration with the global CML community.

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About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. We deliver high-value medicines that alleviate society’s greatest disease burdens through technology leadership in R&D and novel access approaches. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. About 103,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work together to bring Novartis products to nearly 800 million people around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com 

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  1. Lang F, Pemberton-Whiteley Z, Clements J, et al. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Survey on Unmet Needs (CML SUN): Balancing Tolerability and Efficacy Goals of Patients and Physicians Through Shared Treatment Decision-Making. Presented at: EHA2023 Hybrid Congress; June 08-15, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany.

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