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"Children's Hospital Boston: Acute Myelogenous Leukemia" icon

Children's Hospital Boston: Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

This webpage explains about leukemia in children, specifically acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), also called granulocytic, myelocytic, myeloblastic, or myeloid leukemia, accounts for about 20 percent of the childhood leukemias. Acute myelogenous leukemia is a cancer of the blood in which too many immature myeloid cells (myeloblasts), a type of white blood cell, are produced in the marrow and they do not mature correctly. The myeloblasts overproduce, thus, crowding out other normal blood cells. In addition, these immature white blood cells (myeloblasts) do not work properly to fight infection. In patients with AML, these cells are most commonly found in the bone marrow and blood, but can also appear in the spinal fluid and the skin. Rarely, they can form into solid tumors called chloromas.


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