Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), also sometimes called acute myeloid leukemia, is a blood cancer that arises from rapidly proliferating leukemic blasts (immature white blood cells) in the bone marrow. In healthy bone marrow, blasts develop into white blood cells that fight infection. However, leukemic blasts in the bone marrow and blood do not develop properly and cannot fight infections. These leukemic blasts proliferate quickly and crowd out the bone marrow, preventing it from making normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
There are an estimated 20,000 new cases of AML in the United States each year, and approximately 27% of patients diagnosed are alive after five years.