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 ...

Oncology & Cancer

Major breakthrough in the treatment of leukemia

A molecular process involved in the action of anti-leukemia drugs has been discovered at Université de Montréal's Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC). While calling into question a central tenet of oncology, ...

Oncology & Cancer

High response seen for chemo in seniors with high-risk AML

(HealthDay)—A substantial proportion of older patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treated with chemotherapy are long-term survivors, according to research published online June 7 in Cancer Medicine.

Oncology & Cancer

Allo-HCT with unrelated donor tied to better outcomes in AML

(HealthDay)—Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) with an unrelated donor (UD) results in better transplantation outcomes than cord blood transplantation (CBT) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients ...

Oncology & Cancer

Octogenarians with acute myeloid leukemia have poor survival

(HealthDay)—Octogenarians with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have a one-month mortality rate of 41 percent and overall survival (OS) of 1.5 months, according to a research letter published in the June issue of the American ...

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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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