Acute myeloid leukemia

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Blood cells


Acute myeloid leukemia is a type of cancer which affects the bone marrow which results in abnormal white blood cells. It also affects red blood cells and platelets.

Epidemiology and burden of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

  • The American Cancer Society’s estimates for leukemia in the United States for 2016: Around 60,140 new cases of leukemia (all kinds) and 24,400 deaths from leukemia (all kinds); 2. About 19,950 new cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Most will be in adults; 3. About 10,430 deaths from AML. Almost all will be in adults. (SEER stat facts)
  • Acute myeloid leukemia is generally a disease of older people and is uncommon before the age of 45. The average age of a patient with AML is about 67 years. (
  • AML is slightly more common among men than among women, but the average lifetime risk in both sexes is less than ½ of 1%. (

Treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

  • Antileukemic efficacy and safety of the birinapant/emricasan combination in vivo suggest promising results and can be a therapeutic option. (Sci Transl Med. 2016 May 18;8(339))
  • High efficacy of CD33/CD3 TandAbs was observed in various preclinical models of human AML. The findings support further study of CD33/CD3 TandAbs as novel immunotherapeutics for patients with AML. (Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Dec 1;22(23):5829-5838)
  • The study proposes future treatment protocol, in which systemic immune activators, like vaccines, dendritic cell-based therapies, engineered variants of IL-2, or IL-15, are combined with agents that counter immunosuppression mediated by, e.g., the PD/PDL interaction, CTLA-4, CD200, reactive oxygen species, IDO expression, CXCR4, or the KIR/class I interaction, based on characteristics of the prevailing malignant clone. (Blood Rev. 2013 Sep;27(5):209-16)

Prevention of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

  • Green tea polyphenols can serve as reagents for treatment or prevention of leukemia harboring FLT3 mutations. (PLoS One. 2013 Jun 20;8(6))
  • Thymoquinone (TQ), a bioactive constituent of the volatile oil of black seed, is a promising anti-cancer drug for various type of cancers including leukemia. (Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2006;38(8):1249-53)
  • Crocodile egg extract, wild radix ginseng and natural Ganoderma lucidum (CGG extract) has shown growth inhibitory potential on KG1a cells and AML bone marrow samples in vitro. (Oncol Rep. 2006 Dec;16(6):1313-6)
  • Low toxic natural reagent, ginsenoside compound k, is a potential drug for pediatric AML intervention and to improve the outcome of pediatric AML treatment. (Cancer Cell Int. 2013; 13: 24)
  • Red wine can be useful in the treatment of leukemia because its polyphenolic extract (RWPs) induce apoptosis in Jurkat cells by a redox-sensitive mechanism involving the intracellular formation of superoxide anions and consequently the up-regulation of p73 and down-regulation of UHRF1. (Eur J Cancer. 2010 Mar;46(5):983-94)
  • In one study, people who did not drink coffee appeared to have a higher risk of acute myeloid leukemia than those who drank various quantities of coffee. (Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Feb 1; 171(3): 312–322)

Risk factors for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

  • Paternal low level radiation exposure (Ionizing radiation) before conception is associated with an increased risk of infant leukemia. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1994 Dec;3(8):645-53)
  • Risk of leukemia is high among children whose mothers are exposed to the highest occupational levels of extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) during pregnancy. (Epidemiology. 2003 Jul;14(4):437-41)
  • Benzene exposure and its intensity are associated with excessive risk of leukemia. (Epidemiology. 2003 Sep;14(5):569-77)
  • Organic solvents (including pesticides) are associated with elevated risks of childhood ALL. (Am J Public Health. 2001 Apr;91(4):564-7)
  • Laborer/equipment cleaners and transportation workers/movers are at risk of AML with odds ratios of 3.5 and 2.4, respectively. (J Environ Health. 2002 Mar;64(7):9-16; quiz 35-6)
  • Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of infant leukemia, especially AML. (J Natl Cancer Inst. 1996 Jan 3;88(1):24-31)
  • Maternal drug use of marijuana can cause childhood ANLL and may be specific for morphologically defined subgroups. (Cancer. 1989 May 15;63(10):1904-11)
  • Maternal consumption of specific DNAt2 inhibitors seemed to increase risk. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Mar;14(3):651-5)

Systematic reviews

  • CD11b positivity could predict a poor prognosis for AML patients. Thus, CD11b expression level might be considered a prognostic biomarker for AML patients...more
  • A systematic overview of chemotherapy effects in acute myeloid leukaemia...more
  • High-Dose Cytarabine in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis…more
  • Molecular therapy for acute myeloid leukaemia...more
  • Prognostic value of CD56 in patients with acute myeloid leukemia: a meta-analysismore
  • Toward Individualized Therapy in Acute Myeloid Leukemia...more
  • CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism might be a risk factor for AML among Asians...more

Treatment with Medicinal Herbs

  • Ivy (Hedera helix) – Dose – 0.5 g/cup tea 1-3 x/day; 0.3 g leaf/day; 0.5 tsp (1 g) powered leaf; 1 tsp herb/0.25 cup water, steep 10 min, 1-3 x/day 
  • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) – Dose – 2-4 g dry herb (0.2-1 mg hypericin)/day; 2-5 g herb/day; 2-4 ml liquid herb extract; 2-4 dry shoot, or in tea, 3x/day  
  • Stonecorp (Sedum acre) – Dose – 1 g powered herb/day; 3 g/day; 1 tsp/cup water

Reference: Handbook of Medicinal Herbs (2006)


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