Acute myeloid leukemia, one of the most common leukemias in adults, is diagnosed in nearly 15,000 people in the United States each year. The average age at diagnosis is 67. The disease affects more men than women.
Doctors perform a variety of different tests to diagnose AML. These diagnostic tests allow them to analyze the specific features of the leukemia cells and look for any genetic abnormalities, such as chromosomal rearrangements and/or gene mutations, both of which are common in AML — or for specific proteins called antigens that appear on the surface of the diseased cells.
The treatment recommended for an individual patient with AML varies, but standard approaches include chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell (or bone marrow) transplantation. Patients with the form of AML called acute promyelocytic leukemia receive initial treatment with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), a medicine developed at Memorial Sloan Kettering, in combination with arsenic trioxide.
Learn more about treatment for AML.