Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy
A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy is used to remove a small piece of bone and bone marrow by inserting a needle into the hipbone or breastbone. A pathologist will then view the bone and bone marrow samples under a microscope to look for abnormal cells.
A cytogenetic analysis is a test in which the cells in a sample of blood or bone marrow are viewed under a microscope to look for certain changes in the chromosomes.
Immunophenotyping is a process that is used to identify cells based on the types of antigens or markers on the surface of the cells. This process is used to diagnose the subtype of AML by comparing the cancer cells to normal cells of the immune system.
Once adult acute myeloid leukemia has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The extent or spread of cancer is usually described as stages.
However, there is no standard staging system for adult acute myeloid leukemia. Adult acute myeloid leukemia is described as untreated, in remission, or recurrent. In adult acute myeloid leukemia, the subtype of AML and whether the leukemia has spread outside the blood and bone marrow are used, instead of stages, in order to plan AML treatment.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Different types of treatment are available for adults with acute myeloid leukemia. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some treatments are being tested in clinical trials.
Current adult acute myeloid leukemia treatment options include:
- Radiation therapy
- Stem cell transplantation
- Other drug therapies.
There are also two phases of treatment for adult acute myeloid leukemia: remission induction therapy and maintenance therapy. Choosing the most appropriate adult AML treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, the family, and the healthcare team.