When someone with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is categorized as high-risk that means that the chances of getting cancer into, and keeping it in, remission are very low with the normal course of chemotherapy, according to Dr. George Yaghmour, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. These patients may also be non-responsive to chemotherapy treatments.
“Risk of relapse is higher so the survival rate, without having the leukemia come back, is less than 30%,” Dr. Yaghmour says.
Still, Dr. Yaghmour points out that a lot of ongoing research is devoted to finding new and better methods to treat patients who are considered high-risk.
“We are working, as a leukemia group, doing the research and investigating what is the best approach for this high-risk patient population,” he says.
There are several tests that need to be performed for a doctor to diagnose a patient with AML. After a diagnosis, the doctor will also identify the person’s “subgroup,” which helps determine the best course of treatment to take.
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