Last reviewed 01/2018

CML is characterised by the reciprocal translocation between chromosomes 9 and 22 resulting in the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) (1)

Although the molecular pathogenesis of the disease is well understood the mechanism by which gene translocation occurs is unknown (1). Aetiological agents implicated in the development of CML include:

  • radiation - is suggested as a cause since one-third of Japanese atomic bomb survivors developed CML. The effect of radiation is thought to be very low (if any) (1)
  • radiotherapy -  observed with increased frequency in radiologists and patients with ankylosing spondylitis who are treated with radiation (2)