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What is acute myeloid leukemia?

Acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, is a type of blood cancer. It is a quickly progressing disease in which too many abnormal white blood cells are found in the bone marrow, the soft, spongy center of long bones. In AML, myeloid stem cells (a type of blood stem cell) become immature white blood cells called myeloblasts or “blasts.” These blasts do not become healthy white blood cells. Instead, they build up in the bone marrow, so there is less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. In addition, these abnormal cells are unable to fight off infection.

How we care for AML

Children with AML are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's through our Leukemia Program. Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s has played a key role in refining treatment for childhood leukemia, and we continue to be a world leader in leukemia clinical trials designed to increase cure rates, decrease treatment-related side effects and improve care for long-term survivors. The Leukemia Program also partners closely with Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Stem Cell Transplant Program — one of the most experienced stem cell transplant programs in the world — to make stem cell transplantation available to children with AML.

Find in-depth information on AML on the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute website, including answers to:

  • What is AML?
  • How do you diagnose AML in children?
  • How do you treat AML in children?
  • What is the latest research on AML?
  • What is the long-term outlook for children with AML?

Acute Myeloid Leukemia | Programs & Services