Survival statistics for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.
There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for AML and what they mean to you.
People with AML must be treated. Without treatment, survival is usually measured in days to weeks.
With current treatment regimens, 65%–70% of people with AML reach a complete remission (which means that leukemia cells cannot be seen in the bone marrow) after induction therapy. People over the age of 60 usually have a lower response rate. About 25%–40% of people over the age of 60 are expected to survive 3 years or more.
If an allogeneic stem cell transplant is done during first remission, the 5-year disease-free survival rate is 30%–50%. If there has been no recurrence at 2 years after the stem cell transplant, the person has about an 80% chance of staying in complete remission for a long period of time.
People who had intensive consolidation therapy and those who had an allogeneic stem cell transplant have similar survival rates. The survival rates are slightly lower for people who have an autologous stem cell transplant.
The treatments offered and survival statistics for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) are different than for other types of AML. After reaching a complete remission, about 70%–90% of people with APL have long-term survival, and doctors consider them to be cured.
If you have AML, talk to your doctor about your prognosis. Prognosis depends on many factors, including:
Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.