Medical research

Smoking tied to inferior survival in acute myeloid leukemia

Smoking status is an important patient-related prognostic factor for outcome in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treated with intensive chemotherapy, according to a study published online April 21 in the British ...

Medical research

Could leukemia be stopped before it starts?

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a blood cancer affecting both adults and children, requires more than one genetic "hit" to develop. As we age, many of us acquire a mutation that enables certain of our blood cells to multiply ...

Oncology & Cancer

Cheap drug may alleviate treatment-resistance in leukemia

A common and inexpensive drug may be used to counteract treatment resistance in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), one of the most common forms of blood cancer. This is the conclusion of a study in mice and human ...

Oncology & Cancer

Vitamin B6, leukemia's deadly addiction

Scientists have discovered that Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) grows by taking advantage of the B6 vitamin to accelerate cell division. The research team from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Memorial Sloan Kettering ...

Oncology & Cancer

Closer to identifying leukemic stem cells

Acute myeloid leukemia is the most common type of leukemia in adults. It is characterized by the pathological expansion of immature cells (myeloblasts) that invade the bone marrow and expand into the blood, affecting the ...

Oncology & Cancer

When cells cycle fast, cancer gets a jumpstart

The progression of cancer has been studied extensively, and the key steps in this journey have been well mapped, at least in some solid tumors: Lesions to genes that confer risk of cancer accumulate and alter normal cell ...

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Acute myeloid leukemia

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, is a cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells, characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. AML is the most common acute leukemia affecting adults, and its incidence increases with age. Although AML is a relatively rare disease, accounting for approximately 1.2% of cancer deaths in the United States, its incidence is expected to increase as the population ages.

The symptoms of AML are caused by replacement of normal bone marrow with leukemic cells, which causes a drop in red blood cells, platelets, and normal white blood cells. These symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding, and increased risk of infection. Although several risk factors for AML have been identified, the specific cause of the disease remains unclear. As an acute leukemia, AML progresses rapidly and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated.

AML has several subtypes; treatment and prognosis varies among subtypes. 5-year survival varies from 15-70%, and relapse rate varies from 78-33%, depending on subtype. AML is treated initially with chemotherapy aimed at inducing a remission; patients may go on to receive additional chemotherapy or a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Recent research into the genetics of AML has developed tests that better predict how long a patient is likely to survive and whether a drug is likely to be effective.

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