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What is Remission in AML?
Posted: Jun 20, 2024
What is Remission in AML? image

What is Remission in AML? 

Remission means that the signs and symptoms of AML are reduced, either fully or partially. Remission does not necessarily mean that a person is cured. Relapse is still possible after someone is in remission. How long an AML remission lasts depends on several factors, such as the type of AML treatment received, genetics, and other health factors. 

Types of AML Remission Include: 

  • Complete Remission
    • There are no signs of AML after treatment. When a sample of bone marrow is tested using the flow cytometry technique, blood counts have returned to normal, and there are fewer than 5% immature leukemia cells (blasts) in the bone marrow. The patient also has an improvement in blood counts as evidenced by an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >1000 cells/μL and platelet count > 100,000/μL, with no need for red blood cell transfusions, and the absence of any tumors formed outside of the bone marrow.
  • Complete Remission with Incomplete Hematologic Recovery
    • The AML cells are reduced to less than 5% blasts in the bone marrow; however, other types of blood cells, like neutrophils and platelets, remain low and have not returned to normal.
  • Partial Remission
    • There is a significant reduction in the number of AML cells (blasts), but not enough to qualify as complete remission. While partial remission suggests a positive response to therapy, ongoing treatment is usually necessary to pursue further reduction of AML cells to maintain control of the disease.
  • Minimal Residual Disease (MRD)
    • An MRD negative test result, sometimes called undetectable MRD or uMRD, means that little to no cancer cells were detected using highly sensitive tests following treatment. MRD testing can use methods like next-generation DNA sequencing. MRD negativity may correlate with longer-lasting remissions.
    • An MRD positive test result means that cancer cells were detected after treatment. MRD positive and uMRD patients may both be considered in complete remission. MRD testing is a further evaluation to more closely assess the level of cancer cells remaining in the body following treatment.

Watch this HealthTree University video where Dr. Brittany Ragon from Levine Cancer Institute explains what remission means for AML: 

Other HealthTree University videos you can watch related to AML remission include: 

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The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, sewing, and cooking.

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