Acute myeloid leukemia
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia or acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, is a fast-growing form of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
AML is the most common type of acute leukemia. It occurs when the bone marrow begins to make blasts, cells that have not yet completely matured. These blasts normally develop into white blood cells. However, in AML, these cells do not develop and are unable to ward off infections.
In AML, the bone marrow may also make abnormal red blood cells and platelets. The number of these abnormal cells increases rapidly, and the abnormal (leukemia) cells begin to crowd out the normal white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets that the body needs.
One of the main things that differentiates AML from the other main forms of leukemia is that it has eight different subtypes, which are based on the cell that the leukemia developed from. The types of acute myelogenous leukemia include:
- Myeloblastic (M0) - on special analysis
- Myeloblastic (M1) - without maturation
- Myeloblastic (M2) - with maturation
- Promyeloctic (M3)
- Myelomonocytic (M4)
- Monocytic (M5)
- Erythroleukemia (M6)
- Megakaryocytic (M7)
Acute myeloid leukemia treatment options
Treatment for AML may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant and/or immunotherapy. Your integrated team of leukemia experts will answer your questions and recommend treatment options based on your unique diagnosis and needs.
A common chemotherapy treatment for AML begins with induction chemotherapy, in which a combination of drugs is used to destroy as many leukemia cells as possible and bring blood counts to normal. This is followed by consolidation chemotherapy, to destroy any remaining leukemia cells that cannot be seen in the blood or bone marrow.