Archive for the ‘AML treatment: Acute Myeloid Leukemia’ Category
AML is a blood cancer where the white cell growth is rapid. The cells accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the natural production of normal red blood cells. The red blood cells, white blood cells, and blood platelets are decreased by this. This is what causes fatigue , bleeding, and bruising along with more chance of infection.
AML is an acute cancer and is quick to progress and within weeks or months can be fatal if not treated immediately. There are several types of AML (subtypes). It is not a common condition and in the United States it accounts for only one per cent of cancer fatalities .
AML leukemia survival rate:
The percentage of cancer survivors is generally taken from people who have been in remission five years after being diagnosed with leukemia. It also includes patients currently receiving treatment. The AML leukemia survival rate has increased in recent tears thanks to medical knowledge advancing. Despite the increase in survival rates there are still some patients who die from AML. The latest figures available are from the period 1996 – 2006 and these show that 24.2 % of adult AML sufferers survived and that the figure for children of 15 years and under was 60.9%
The AML leukemia survival rate may be dependent on some of the factors given below:
• Age: The age of a patient can determine the five years survival rate from AML. Older patients have less chance of surviving AML leukemia. The effect of age is clearly shown in the figures given here. The percentage of patients older than 54 who did not survive AML was 80.2%, but the death rate for those less than 54 years was 19.8%. Although not proven it is thought chemotherapy could have a bearing on these figures.
• Fitness and white blood cell count: The chances of survival are greatly improved if your overall fitness is good and your white blood cell count was high before the cancer.
Every individual reacts differently to cancer, so these figures are just a guide to survival rates. It does not matter if you are in the high risk category; there is still a chance that you will survive.
According to the American Cancer Society there are around 13,000 newly registered cases of this form of leukemia every year in North America. This form of leukemia affects more adults than children. The disease occurs when the myeloblasts do not mature into different blood cells. So, how about the leukemia AML prognosis according to now a day’s technology?
Like all other types of leukemia, a diagnosis of AML begins with a physical examination. There could be swelling to the lymph nodes, liver, or the spleen . A blood test will be done to determine if you have anemia and a low level of platelets . The final test that will be conclusive is a biopsy of the bone marrow.
When the AML has been diagnosed it is then classified as one of eight subtypes which is dependent on the appearance of the cell. It is then further classified into French-American-British (FAB) sub types. Identifying the classification of the disease is of the utmost importance as the different sub-types respond to different treatments.
AML Classsification after Leukemia AML Prognosis
When the leukemia has been diagnose, there are eight subtypes into which it can be classified, based on the cells’ appearance. The disease is then further classified into subtypes. The reason being that different sub-groups and types of leukemia respond to different treatments. The identification disease’s FAB classification is important.
There are nine different FAB subtypes of acute myelogenous leukemia all beginning with the letter M:
• 0: undifferentiated AML
• 1: Acute myelogenous leukemia with minimal cell maturation
• 2: Acute myelogenous leukemia with abnormal cell maturation
• 3: APL
• 4: AML
• 4 eos: M4 with eosinophilia.
• 5: Acute monocytic leukemia
• 6: AEL
• 7: Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia.
There is another classification that was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) intended to replace the FAB. It divides the AML into five categories.
• Acute myelogenous leukemia due to radiation or chemotherapy
• Acute myelogenous leukemia with genetic abnormalities
• Acute myelogenous leukemia with more than one myeloid cell present)
• Acute myelogenous leukemia not otherwise specified
The proposal from the WHO has not yet replaced FAB as the classification used most commonly.
The WHO proposal has yet to replace FAB as the most common AML classification system.
Prompt treatment increases a patient’s potential leukemia survival rate. According to Merck Pharmaceuticals (2008), approximately 50 to 85 percent of treated cases result in remission — defined as the reduction or disappearance of cancer symptoms.
Overall, 20 to 40 percent of people who go into remission are free of symptoms five years later. Acute myelogenous leukemia survival rates rise to 40 and 50 percent for younger people who receive stem cell transplants. If a patient hasn’t relapsed after five years of remission, he’s considered cured.
Certain factors affect leukemia AML prognosis. Factors that may worsen a patient’s leukemia survival rate include:
• Advanced age
• High white blood cell count at the time of diagnosis
• History of prior leukemia.
Chromosomal alterations can also affect leukemia survival rate, although this role is complicated. While some chromosomal alterations may worsen the prognosis, others may improve the chances of remission or even cure in cases of acute myelogenous leukemia.
AML is basically a type of cancer of blood which affects white blood cells called myeloid cells . It causes abnormally high production of cells by the bone marrow. This overproduction of white blood cells stops the production of normal cells like white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.
There are different types of AML and their treatments depend on several factors which include:
- Maturity of the cancer cells at the time of diagnosis
- Patient’s health
Once these factors are determined, patients are asked to take several tests including those for bone marrow , X-rays and ultrasound in order to determine the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body. After this, AML treatment starts.
AML treatment occurs in two stages:
- 1. Induction chemotherapy
- 2. Consolidation chemotherapy
In induction therapy, the goal is to kill cancerous leukemia cells however if any of the cells are left, they are destroyed in consolidation therapy. The induction therapy prevents the re-growth of leukemia cells. Another type of Chemotherapy that is “Intrathecal” is used to treat acute leukemia that has spread to the brain and spinal cord.
Other therapies used for AML treatment are:
- Radiation therapy
- Stem cell transplant
- Targeted therapy
Radiation therapy uses the energy rays like X-rays and Gamma rays to destroy cancerous leukemia cells in the blood and the bone marrow. On the other hand, stem cell transplant removes the damaged cells from the body and replaces it with proper functioning cells. The cells are either taken from a donor; Allogeneic transplant or from within patient’s own; Autologous transplant. Although these transplants carry considerable risk but also long term remission of the leukemia cells.
Targeted therapy uses drugs to identify and destroy abnormal cells but has no effect on the normal body cells. Monoclonal antibody therapy is one of the targeted therapies used for AML treatment and these antibodies are produced in the laboratory for the specific function.
Last but not the least, AML treatment should be considered as soon as AML is diagnosed. Any delays can lead to the spread of cancerous leukemia cells to other body parts. Even after the AML treatment, patient should go for regular checkups in order to avoid re-growth of cancerous cells.