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Oncology News Central (ONC)“Surprising” Divide Between Physicians and Patients in CML Treatment Choices

The CML SUN study surveyed 361 CML patients and 198 physicians and found gaps in shared decision-making during treatment selection.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treatment decisions could significantly benefit from an increased level of shared decision-making between physicians and patients, according to the latest findings from the CML SUN study presented at the EHA 2023 Congress.

Key Points

  • Patients aim to maintain or improve their quality of life, manage adverse effects, and halt disease progression.
  • 39%-43% of patients indicated that their physician only described one treatment option, while only 19%-26% of patients reported a joint decision-making process.
  • Despite 69% of physicians stating that they inform patients about treatment options, 48%-66% only provide information about one treatment option.
  • 44%-48% of physicians reported making treatment decisions with minimal patient input. 74% of physicians see themselves as the ultimate decision-makers.

Additional Points

  • Although most patients and physicians are satisfied with the efficacy of current treatments, many patients reported that their treatments impacted their quality of life.
  • Patients reported physical (78%) and emotional (69%) fatigue, reduced ability to exercise (66%), and stress about whether the treatment was effective (58%).


  • The CML SUN study findings underscore the need for shared decision-making in CML treatment, balancing efficacy and tolerability. There appears to be a lack of patient empowerment in the treatment decision process.

Hematology/Oncology Further Reading

“Information is power. The more a patient knows and understands, the easier I find navigating complex decisions is, the higher the level of patient comfort is, and the better the relationship can be.”

Dr. Michael Mauro
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
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