Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

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Overview

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a type of leukemia—a cancer of the bone marrow and blood.

Better Survival Rates for AML

Studies have shown that the first treatment you receive for cancer is by far the most important. On average, leukemia patients who begin their treatment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) have better survival rates than those who started treatment elsewhere. Our patients diagnosed with AML receive expertly targeted, comprehensive care from a team of specialists who focus almost exclusively on treating this disease.

Access to Clinical Studies

SCCA, with its founding organizations Fred Hutch and UW Medicine, is a world leader in leukemia research and was formed, in part, to bring promising new treatments to patients faster. For people with AML, this means more treatment options than you might find elsewhere, including the chance to participate in a clinical study for AML.

Our researchers pioneered one of the most effective leukemia treatments, bone marrow transplantation, more than 50 years ago and continue to refine it today—for example, developing a comorbidity index that accurately predicts which people are the best candidates for transplant. This tool is being used to extend transplantation to people previously considered too old for the procedure.

Researchers here also were the first to treat people with acute promyelocytic leukemia without chemotherapy. This approach is now being adopted as a standard of care worldwide. We are also advancing other key leukemia treatments, including improved chemotherapy and immunotherapy, as well as diagnostic tools like UW-OncoPlex that tests tumors for the presence of characteristic genetic mutations.

Excellent Transplant Results

Depending on the specifics of your leukemia, you may have several treatment options. One option—a blood or bone marrow transplant—has transformed some leukemias and related cancers, once thought incurable, into highly treatable diseases with survival rates as high as 80 percent. If your condition requires a bone marrow transplant, you should know that the Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA is one of 13 centers whose patients achieved higher-than-expected survival rates, according to a multi-year study by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) reported in 2013. The CIBMTR compared patients at 168 bone marrow transplant centers in the United States. We’ve performed more bone marrow transplants than any other institution in the world.