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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Acute myelomonocytic leukemia


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Your Question

What is acute myelomonocytic leukemia and how is it best treated?  Is there any research or new treatment currently in trials that is available to treat this disease?  My father has just been diagnosed with this condition.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is acute myelomonocytic leukemia?

Acute myelomonocytic leukemia (AMML) is a cancer that typically develops in the bone marrow and blood of older individuals.  AMML is one type of acute myeloid leukemia, a group of blood cancers that occur when the amount of white blood cells increases rapidly.  Symptoms of AMML often include fatigue (due to anemia) or easy bruising or bleeding (due to thrombocytopenia).  The cause of AMML is currently unknown.  Treatment typically consists of chemotherapy.[1]
Last updated: 2/12/2013

How might acute myelomonocytic leukemia be treated?

Acute myelomonocytic leukemia (AMML) is typically treated with chemotherapy, drugs injected into the bloodstream that target and destroy cancer cells.  The amount and type of chemotherapy used to treat AMML depends on the age and health of the affected individual.  The first step of chemotherapy for AMML is induction therapy, treatment with drugs that aim to destroy the cancer cells in the bone marrow and blood.  Induction thearpy is followed by a rest phase to allow the affected individual to recover from the initial treatments.  Then, the second step of chemotherapy is given, called consolidation therapy, which should destroy any cancer cells that may remain in the body.[1]  Stem cell transplant or participation in a clinical trial may also be used to treat AMML if chemotherapy treatments are unsuccessful.[2]
Last updated: 2/12/2013

Are there any clinical trials for acute myelomonocytic leukemia?

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, through the National Library of Medicine, developed ClinicalTrials.gov to provide patients, family members, and members of the public with current information on clinical research studies. Currently, 120 clinical trials are identified as enrolling individuals with acute myelomonocytic leukemia.  To find these trials, click on the following link: open studies for acute myelomonocytic leukemia. After you click on a study, review its "eligibility" criteria to determine its appropriateness. Use the study’s contact information to learn more. Check this site often for regular updates.

You can also contact the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison (PRPL) Office at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We recommend calling 1-800-411-1222 to speak with a specialist, who can help you determine if you are eligible for any clinical trials.
Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office
NIH Clinical Center
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2655
Toll-free: 1-800-411-1222
Fax: 301-480-9793
E-mail: prpl@mail.cc.nih.gov
Web site:  http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov/

If you are interested in enrolling in a clinical trial, you can find helpful general information on clinical trials at the ClinicalTrials.gov Web page.  Resources on many charitable or special-fare flights to research and treatment sites and low-cost hospitality accommodations for outpatients and family members, as well as ambulance services, are listed on the Web site of the Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Last updated: 2/12/2013

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