Pediatric Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
Pediatric AML (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia) Treatment
Sheba Medical Center’s multidisciplinary team of specialists has vast experience treating patients with AML. Each person that comes through our Hematology Clinic will benefit from a personalized treatment plan built by our medical oncologists, hematologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and other specialists.
Our top-of-the-line facilities and equipment here at Sheba ensure that you will receive quick results and immediate action throughout each stage of your cancer care.
Customized treatment plans for AML depend on many prognostic factors. Once your doctors have reviewed the results of your diagnostic tests, they will build an individualized treatment plan that may include the following treatments:
Chemotherapy is the main treatment used in most AML cases. Leukemia treatment is generally divided into three phases:
- Induction. The first phase of treatment is short and intensive, usually lasting about a week. During this phase, doctors hope to clear the blood of leukemia cells and significantly reduce the level in the bone marrow.
- Consolidation. During this phase, the patient is given chemotherapy in cycles with rest periods in between. The goal is to rid the body of any leukemia cells that may be left over.
- Maintenance. Only certain types of AML require the maintenance phase, in which the patient is treated with chemotherapy for months or years following consolidation
Typically, AML treatment requires a combination of a few different chemotherapy drugs depending on the subtype of the disease.
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Targeted therapy drugs work differently from chemotherapy drugs because they are made to identify and attack specific cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. In some cases, they are more effective than chemotherapy drugs and they often have different side effects.
Some of the targeted therapy drugs used to treat people with AML include:
- FLT3 inhibitors
- IDH inhibitors
- Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg)
- Venetoclax (Venclexta)
- Hedgehog pathway inhibitor
Radiation therapy uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells. It is not usually used in the treatment of AML, but may be used if leukemia has spread, or before a bone marrow transplant.
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Bone Marrow Transplant / Stem Cell Transplant
A bone marrow transplant, or a stem cell transplant, is a procedure that involves replacing damaged bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells.
Since very high doses of chemotherapy can severely damage bone marrow, a stem cell transplant allows doctors to use higher doses to kill leukemia cells and then restore the bone marrow through a transplant. Allogeneic stem cell transplants used donated stem cells, and autologous stem cell transplants use the patient’s own stem cells. After the transplant, the new cells multiply and create healthy bone marrow.
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