Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) treatment
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) relapse
For some patients having intensive treatments, and for all having non-intensive treatment, there’s a risk of relapse.
Relapse means the cancer comes back. On average, this may affect around half of all patients who achieve a remission after their initial treatment, but every patient has different risk factors. The chance of relapse depends on the initial risk group you are in at diagnosis. Unfortunately not all people who relapse will always respond well to more treatment.
Specialists can predict how successful more treatment will be by looking closely at the leukaemia cells. Using this information, you and your healthcare team can decide on the best way forward for your treatment.
Information for young adults
For young adults with leukaemia, lymphoma or any blood cancer type. Your guide to treatment, side effects, coping with emotions, friends and work or study.
The treatment for relapsed AML varies from patient to patient. Before you have any treatment, you’ll discuss your options with your healthcare team to find the best treatment for you. Lots of different factors can influence which treatment you have, including your age, your medical fitness, and how long you were in remission for.
The main decision you and your healthcare team will have to make when you plan your treatment is whether you’d like to use intensive treatment, which aims to cure the disease, or non-intensive treatment, which aims to give the best quality of life for as long as possible. Treatment might involve more chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant.
Achieving a cure is more common in patients whose first remission lasted a long time, who are medically fit, and who can have a stem cell transplant.
Palliative care in relapse
If the doctors feel that more treatment isn’t likely to succeed, you may be advised that palliative care is more appropriate than intensive treatment. Your doctor will discuss the options with you in detail before you decide on a treatment plan.
Palliative care will lessen your symptoms and control the disease rather than looking for a cure. It’s really important to note that palliative care is not the same as terminal care. Palliative care aims to extend survival as well as controlling your symptoms.
Worried about anything or have questions?
If you have any questions, worries, or just need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to contact our Support Services Team via phone or email.