What is acute myeloid leukemia?
Acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, is a disorder involving myeloid stem cells. Normally, myeloid stem cells can self-renew and mature into red blood cells (to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues), white blood cells (to fight infections) and platelets (to stop bleeding).
In patients with AML, the myeloid stem cells behave abnormally and do not transform into mature blood cells, or they transform into irregular blood cells that do not function normally. As abnormal cells build up in the bone marrow and bloodstream, the patient may experience anemia, susceptibility to infections and bleeding that does not clot due to the lack of functional red blood cells, white blood cells and/or platelets.