Prognosis for the child with AML

Treatment for AML has dramatically improved in the last decade. Today, 75 to 85 percent of children who receive optimal treatment at a major pediatric medical center achieve a complete remission. Of the children who achieve remission, 40 to 50 percent remain in remission for five years, and are considered cured.

The white blood count at diagnosis is the most important predictor of response to treatment. Children with white blood counts over 100,000 per cubic milliliter at diagnosis do not do as well as children with lower white counts. Other factors that might predict more difficulty reaching remission are:

• Secondary AML (develops after treatment for another cancer)

• Monosomy 7 chromosome abnormality

• Children with CNS disease at diagnosis

Factors that predict a high likelihood of achieving remission are:

• Rapid response to treatment

• Leukemia cell chromosomal abnormalities t(8;21) and inv (16)

• Down syndrome

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