Oncology & Cancer

Milestone reached in new leukemia drug

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists, with chemists and cancer biologists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), have developed a new therapy that extended the survival of mice with acute myeloid leukemia.

Oncology & Cancer

Gilteritinib superior in relapsed, refractory FLT3-mutated AML

(HealthDay)—For relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with mutations in the FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 gene (FLT3), treatment with a selective FLT3 inhibitor, gilteritinib, results in significantly longer ...

Medications

Cocktail proves toxic to leukemia cells

A combination of drugs that affect mitochondria—the power plants inside cells—may become the best weapons yet to fight acute myeloid leukemia, according to Rice University researchers.

Oncology & Cancer

Pediatric cancers: Why some forms of leukemia only affect children

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) mainly affects children, with often poor prognosis despite several decades of research into more effective treatments. A new study explains why some forms of leukemia develop in very young children ...

Oncology & Cancer

Many older patients with AML not receiving active treatment

(HealthDay)—Many older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) do not receive any active treatment, and they have worse survival than those receiving active treatment, according to a study published online Sept. 4 in ...

Oncology & Cancer

Making cancer stem cells visible to the immune system

Leukemia stem cells protect themselves against the immune defense by suppressing a target molecule for killer cells. This protective mechanism can be tricked with drugs. In the journal Nature, scientists from Basel, Tübingen ...

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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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