The impact of chronic myeloid leukemia on employment: the French prospective study

Ann Hematol. 2019 Mar;98(3):615-623. doi: 10.1007/s00277-018-3549-5. Epub 2018 Nov 17.


Patients with chronic myeloid leukemia treated with breakpoint cluster region-Abelson tyrosine kinase inhibitors are likely to survive in excess of 20 years after diagnosis. New challenges appear as we consider life after the disease, including professional challenges and the social reintegration of patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of chronic myeloid leukemia on employment within 2 years after diagnosis. This prospective, observational study included patients diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia and treated with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Two populations were defined as patients who reported modifications in their professional activity during the study (Acti-Pro+) and patients who did not report a modification (Acti-Pro-). Cancer survivors received a self-assessment questionnaire. The primary endpoint was to determine the professional status of patients. One hundred patients completed the questionnaire. Sixty-six patients out of 100 reported professional activity within 2 years after their diagnosis. During the 2 years after the diagnosis, 65.2% (95% confidence interval (CI), 53.7-76.7) of patients faced modifications in their professional activity due to chronic myeloid leukemia or adverse effects of drug treatments (group Acti-Pro+); in contrast, 34.8% of patients did not report any impact on their occupational activity (group Acti-Pro-). Among modifications to work organization, a change in the number of working hours was the most represented. Other modifications comprised changes in status or work pace. A majority of chronic myeloid leukemia patients face professional consequences of their disease and treatments. Our findings suggest that adverse drug reactions are a major factor affecting the occurrence of work modifications in this context.

Keywords: Cancer; Chronic myeloid leukemia; Occupational health practice; Return to work.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthenia / chemically induced
  • Educational Status
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / economics*
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders / etiology
  • Occupations
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl