leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the bone marrow and the blood. It’s a
fast-growing type of leukemia and is the most common type of acute
leukemia affecting adults.
In AML, abnormal
white blood cells build up in the bone marrow and interfere with the production
of normal blood cells.
AML progresses rapidly. However, for some patients, AML is curable.
Medical Center’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer
treatments for patients with AML that they can’t get anywhere else in the
region. Our physicians have the highest levels of expertise in diagnosing the
disease and identifying the most effective and promising treatment plan.
We perform intense
laboratory studies to help us better understand leukemia and develop
therapeutic clinical trials that target molecular weaknesses and harness the
immune system. One current trial is the Beat AML initiative.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms of AML
include fatigue, easy bruising and bleeding, shortness of breath, and weight
loss. Sometimes, no symptoms are present.
If AML is suspected
based on a physical exam and symptoms, we’ll order additional tests that include:
- Blood and molecular analysis, which assess the numbers, types, and
shapes of blood cells, as well as other characteristics that could
- Bone marrow biopsy to detect leukemia cells in the bone
An accurate diagnosis
is critical to developing an effective treatment plan. At UT Southwestern,
we work with specialized pathologists called hematopathologists who are
uniquely trained to identify and classify blood cancers.
Risk factors for
developing AML include diagnosis of another type of blood disorder, exposure to
chemicals or ionizing radiation, and genetics.