Chemotherapy for AML
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill leukaemia cells or slow their growth. Treatment protocols set out which drugs to have, how much and how often. You can find information about protocols at eviq.org.au, although your haematologist may need to tailor the drugs to your individual situation. For acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), there are usually two phases of high-dose chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs are most commonly given as a liquid through a drip inserted into a vein (intravenous infusion). Some drugs are given as tablets you swallow.
Learn more about:
Side effects of chemotherapy
The drugs may damage healthy fast-growing cells, such as new blood cells or the cells in the mouth, stomach, hair and bowel.
This can cause side effects such as:
- hair loss
- high risk of infection
- mouth sores
- body aches
Phases of high-dose chemotherapy for AML
Chemotherapy for AML is usually given in two phases: induction and consolidation. People who are not well enough for the intensive chemotherapy of the induction phase may be offered low-dose drug therapy instead.
Video: What is chemotherapy?
A/Prof John Moore (Conjoint UNSW), Senior Staff Specialist Haematology, Department of Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital; Glynda Blomson, Consumer; Kevin Bloom, Senior Social Worker, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Royal North Shore Hospital; Sharon Frazer, Consumer; Prof Angela Hong, Radiation Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and Clinical Professor, The University of Sydney; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Karen Maddock, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Haematology, Westmead Hospital.
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