The treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) varies depending on several factors, including the subtype of AML, the patient's age and overall health.
Chemotherapy is the main treatment for most types of AML. It uses drugs to kill cancer cells or to stop them from growing. Chemotherapy for AML usually has two phases: induction therapy and consolidation (post-remission) therapy. Induction therapy is the first phase of treatment. Its purpose is to kill the leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow. This puts the leukemia into remission. Consolidation therapy is given after remission. Its purpose is to kill any remaining leukemia cells that may not be active but could begin to regrow later. Some of the drugs used in chemotherapy treatment for AML include cytarabine (Cytosar-U), daunorubicin (Cerubidine), idarubicin (Idamycin), mitoxantrone (Novantrone), etoposide (VP-16), and others.
2. Stem Cell Transplant
A stem cell transplant (SCT) is a procedure that replaces the patient's diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow. Before a stem cell transplant, you will receive high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy your diseased bone marrow. Then you receive infusions of stem cells from a donor (allogeneic SCT). The stem cells travel to your bone marrow, where they produce new blood cells.
3. Targeted Therapy
Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the specific genes, proteins, or tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells while limiting damage to healthy cells. Not all tumors have the same targets. To find the most effective treatment, your doctor may run tests to identify the genes, proteins, and other factors in your tumor. In AML, some of the targeted therapies used include midostaurin (Rydapt), gilteritinib (Xospata), ivosidenib (Tibsovo), enasidenib (Idhifa), and others.
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. The immune system helps your body fight infections and other diseases. It is made up of white blood cells and organs and tissues of the lymph system. In AML, the immunotherapy drug used is gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg) but many more are being studied in clinical trials.
5. Supportive Care
Supportive care is used to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment of a disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment. It is given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease. The goal of supportive care is to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment of a disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment.