- How is acute myeloid leukemia treated?
- Chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia
- Other drugs for acute myeloid leukemia
- Surgery for acute myeloid leukemia
- Radiation therapy for acute myeloid leukemia
- Stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia
- Clinical trials for acute myeloid leukemia
- Complementary and alternative therapies for acute myeloid leukemia
- Typical treatment of most types of acute myeloid leukemia (except acute promyelocytic M3)
- Treatment of acute promyelocytic (M3) leukemia
- Treatment response rates for acute myeloid leukemia
- What if acute myeloid leukemia doesn’t respond or comes back after treatment?
- More treatment information about acute myeloid leukemia
How is acute myeloid leukemia treated?
General treatment information about acute myeloid leukemia
As noted earlier, adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is not a single disease. It is really a group of related diseases, and patients with different subtypes of AML can have different outlooks and responses to treatment.
Once AML has been diagnosed, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. Your options may be affected by the AML subtype and lab tests of the leukemia cells, as well as certain other prognostic factors (described in the section “How is acute myeloid leukemia classified?”).
Several types of treatment may be used for people with AML. The main treatment for AML is chemotherapy, sometimes followed by a stem cell transplant. Other drugs (besides standard chemotherapy drugs) may also be used to treat people with acute promyelocytic leukemia. Surgery and radiation therapy may be used in special circumstances.
It’s important to discuss all of your treatment options and their possible side effects with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. It’s also very important to ask questions if there is anything you’re not sure about. You can find some good questions to ask in the section “What should you ask your doctor about acute myeloid leukemia?”
In most cases AML can progress rapidly, so it is important to start treatment as soon as possible after the diagnosis is made.
The next few sections describe the types of treatments used for AML. This is followed by a discussion of the typical treatment approach for AML. The treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is different from other subtypes, and is discussed separately.
Last Medical Review: 07/24/2013
Last Revised: 02/07/2014