Once childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) 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. In childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the subtype of AML and whether the leukemia has spread outside the blood and bone marrow are used, instead of the stage, to plan treatment. The following tests and procedures may be used to determine if the leukemia has spread:
Untreated adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is defined as newly diagnosed leukemia with no previous treatment. The patient exhibits the following features: abnormal bone marrow with at least 20% blasts and signs and symptoms of the disease, usually accompanied by an abnormal white blood cell count and differential, an abnormal hematocrit/hemoglobin count, and an abnormal platelet count.
Adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in remission is defined as a normal peripheral blood cell count (absolute neutrophil count >1,000/mm3 and platelet count >100,000/mm3)  and normocellular marrow with less than 5% blasts in the marrow and no signs or symptoms of the disease. In addition, no signs or symptoms are evident of central nervous system leukemia or other extramedullary infiltration. Because the vast majority of AML patients meeting these criteria for remission have residual leukemia, modifications to the definition of complete remission have been suggested, including cytogenetic remission, in which a previously abnormal karyotype reverts to normal, and molecular remission, in which interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) or multiparameter flow cytometry are used to detect minimal residual disease. Immunophenotyping and interphase FISH have greater prognostic significance than the conventional criteria for remission.[2,3]
Current Clinical Trials
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with adult acute myeloid leukemia. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
Cheson BD, Cassileth PA, Head DR, et al.: Report of the National Cancer Institute-sponsored workshop on definitions of diagnosis and response in acute myeloid leukemia. J Clin Oncol 8 (5): 813-9, 1990.
Cheson BD, Bennett JM, Kopecky KJ, et al.: Revised recommendations of the International Working Group for Diagnosis, Standardization of Response Criteria, Treatment Outcomes, and Reporting Standards for Therapeutic Trials in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. J Clin Oncol 21 (24): 4642-9, 2003.
Bacher U, Kern W, Schoch C, et al.: Evaluation of complete disease remission in acute myeloid leukemia: a prospective study based on cytomorphology, interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization, and immunophenotyping during follow-up in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer 106 (4): 839-47, 2006.