The development of Gleevec began in the early 1960s with the identification of the so-called Philadelphia chromosome (after the city in which it was identified) in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.
Chronic myeloid leukemia is characterized by a chronic (long duration) phase that is relatively benign.
As a result of this acute phase, the average time of survival from chronic myeloid leukemia was about four years, meaning that half of the patients died before the four years and half were still alive at that time.
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