Treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) depends on the subtype and extent of the disease as well as the age and overall health of the patient. Patients with the actue promyelocytic leukemia (APL) subtype are treated with additional drugs that are not part of treatment for other AML patients. At Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), your team of specialists will design a program of treatment for your specific case that may include chemotherapy, chemotherapy with bone marrow transplant, or monoclonal antibody therapy. Because AML is almost always widespread at diagnosis, radiation therapy is very rarely used. Radiation therapy for AML patients is typically reserved for patients whose AML involves the spinal cord or brain.
Access to clinical studies conducted by the physician/researchers at SCCA’s parent organizations—Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s—is one reason why many patients come to SCCA for treatment of AML. The goal of clinical studies is to develop more effective life-saving treatments in the fight against leukemia. At any time, SCCA’s parent organizations have around 50 ongoing studies that are evaluating new treatments for leukemia. Be sure to ask your doctor if one of them is right for you. For more information, see our clinical studies section.
Chemotherapy is the primary treatment for AML. Learn more about the drugs used to treat AML.
A bone marrow transplant (also called a stem cell transplant) may be used to treat patients with relapsed AML or AML in first remission.
Learn how monoclonal antibody therapy can harness the body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells.
AML treatment usually involves two phases of treatment: remission induction therapy and consolidation, or post-remission, therapy.
Learn about the side effects of the various treatments for AML.