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Treatment Outcomes

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) can be a difficult disease to cure. However, advances in AML treatment have resulted in improved remission (an absence of signs and symptoms) and cure rates.

Treatment outcomes can be broken down into four categories. The table below describes the difference between each category.

Terms for AML Treatment Outcomes

Active disease
  • AML is still present during treatment or after treatment (refractory) or AML has come back after treatment (relapsed).
  • A patient with relapsed AML has more than 5 percent blast cells in the marrow.
Minimal residual disease
  • No AML cells are detected in bone marrow using standard tests. But more sensitive tests, such as flow cytometry, or very sensitive tests, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), detect remaining AML cells in the marrow.
  • No evidence of disease after treatment, (complete based on remission):
    • Less than 5 percent blast cells in the marrow
    • Blood cell counts within normal limits
    • No signs or symptoms of the disease
Complete molecular remission
  • No evidence of AML cells in the marrow when using very sensitive tests such as PCR.

For survival statistics, click here.

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