AML is a type of cancer that begins in the bone marrow. It results from acquired changes in the DNA (genetic material) of a developing marrow cell. Once the marrow cell becomes a leukemic cell, it multiplies uncontrollably into billions of cells.

These cells, called leukemic blasts:

  • Do not function normally;
  • Are able to grow and survive better than normal cells;
  • Block the production of normal cells, resulting in a lower number of healthy blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets).

To learn more about AML, click here.


Treatment options

People who are diagnosed with AML  are typically treated with the same chemotherapies that have been used for the past 40 years. The standard treatment for AML includes high-dose chemotherapy with a cytarabine/anthracycline combination, followed by either one to four cycles of consolidation (postremission) chemotherapy, and stem cell transplantation, either using a patient’s own cells (autologous) or a donor’s cells (allogeneic).  A patient can also be a part of clinical trial to find out if newer treatments and treatment combinations are better.

Clinical Trials

Every new drug or treatment regimen goes through a series of clinical trials before it becomes part of standard therapy.

Clinical trials are carefully designed and thoroughly reviewed by expert doctors and researchers to be sure that each trial is as safe and as scientifically correct as possible. Participation in a carefully conducted clinical trial may be the best available therapy. Patient participation in clinical trials in the past has resulted in the therapies we have today.

There are many clinical trials currently going on to find AML drugs and drug combinations that will extend a patient's remission. By calling an LLS Information Specialist, a patient can learn about the newest trials in AML and receive one-on-one assistance in understanding whether a specific trial is appropriate for them.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Survival Lags Behind Other Blood Cancers

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How an Information Specialist Can Help

Our Information Specialists are master's level oncology social workers, nurses and health educators who can:

  • Help you deal with the challenges of your diagnosis
  • Provide information about treatment options
  • Help you map the best route from diagnosis through treatment and survivorship
  • Conduct individual clinical trial searches for you and help you develop a list of questions to ask your doctor about participating in a clinical trial
  • Help you communicate with members of your healthcare team
  • Connect you to national resources
  • Connect you with a staff member at your chapter who can guide you to local programs and resources
  • Provide you with free education materials to help you on your cancer journey

Contact an Information Specialist at (800) 955-4572, email or live chat.