Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), one of the most common leukemias in adults, is diagnosed in about 20,000 people in the United States each year. The average age at diagnosis is 72. The disease affects more men than women.

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Diagnosis of AML

Doctors do a variety of tests to diagnose AML. These tests allow them to analyze the specific features of the leukemia cells and look for any genetic abnormalities, such as rearranged chromosomes or gene mutations. Both of these occurrences are common in AML. Doctors may also look for specific proteins called antigens. These appear on the surface of leukemia cells.

Learn more about the diagnosis of AML.

Jennifer’s Story about Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
Unable to find a matching bone marrow donor to treat her acute myelogenous leukemia, Jennifer turned to Memorial Sloan Kettering, where physicians did a stem cell transplant using umbilical cord blood.

Treatment for AML

Each person with AML has their own treatment needs. Standard recommendations include chemotherapy and blood or marrow stem cell transplantation. Many people with the form of AML called acute promyelocytic leukemia are first treated with arsenic trioxide (Trisenox®) in combination with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), also called tretinoin (Vesanoid®). The development of both ATRA and arsenic trioxide was pioneered at MSK.

Learn more about treatment for AML.