Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a blood and bone marrow cancer. AML Leukemia as it is often called, can be caused by exposure petrochemical products containing benzene, xylene, naptha, toluene and other aromatic hydrocarbons. AML occurs in the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made. The four common medical names for AML are acute myeloid leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia and acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. The reason the word "acute" refers to due to the disease's rapid progression in the bone marrow and the body. The terms "myeloid or myelogenous" terms to the affect that this blood cancer has on the white blood cells called the myeloid cells, which normally develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and blood platelets.
AML and Benzene Exposure
AML and other blood cancers like MDS and NHL have unknown causes, however they also share a common thread of benzene exposure for many workers that worked with benzene containing products commonly found in lubricants, solvents, penatrating oils, jet fuel, pesticides, gasolines and other petrochemical products.
Initial Treatment of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
Initial treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia usually begins with induction chemotherapy using a combination of drugs such as daunorubicin (DNR), cytarabine (ara-C), idarubicin, thioguanine, etoposide, or mitoxantrone.
Patients with newly diagnosed disease also may be considered for stem cell transplantation (SCT), either from the bone marrow or other sources. Allogeneic bone marrow transplant (alloBMT) is reserved primarily for patients under 55 years of age who have a compatible family donor. Approximately half of newly diagnosed acute myelogenous leukemia patients are in this age group, with 75% achieving a complete remission (CR) after induction and consolidation therapy. Allogeneic bone marrow transplant is available for about 15% of all patients with acute myelogenous leukemia. Unfortunately, it is estimated that only 7% of all acute myelogenous leukemia patients will be cured using this procedure.
People who receive stem cell transplantation (SCT, alloBMT) require protective isolation in the hospital, including filtered air, sterile food, and sterilization of the microorganisms in the gut, until their total white blood cell (WBC) count is above 500. Treatment of central nervous system leukemia, if present, may involve injection of chemotherapeutic drugsinto the areas around the brain and spinal cord.
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) Consolidation or Maintenance Therapy
Once the AML patient is in remission, they will normally receive consolidation or maintenance therapy, for example, consolidation therapy with high-dose ara-C (HDAC) with/without anthracycline drugs).
If, however, the acute myelogenous leukemia patient has resistant disease (about 15%) or relapses (about 70%), second remissions sometimes are achieved by treating them with conventional induction chemotherapy, high-dose ara-C (HDAC), with/without other drugs and etoposide or other single chemotherapeutic agents
Elderly acute myelogenous leukemia patients have special treatment concerns. They may be less able to tolerate the septicemia (blood poisoning) associated with granulocytopenia, and they often have higher rates of myelodysplastic ('preleukemia') syndrome (MDS). Individuals who are over age 75 or who have significant medical conditions can be treated effectively with low-dose ara-C. High-dose post-induction chemotherapy is unlikely to be tolerated by elderly patients.
Until recently, the treatment plans and responses of children with acute myelogenous leukemia did not differ much from those of adults. Yet new, more intensive induction and consolidation treatments have resulted in higher remission rates and prolonged survivals. Many induction trials have produced good results using combinations of cytarabine (ara-C) plus an anthracycline (e.g., daunorubicin, doxorubicin). In children under 3 years of age, the anthracycline used for induction should be chosen with care, since doxorubicin produces more toxicity and related deaths than daunorubicin.
Consolidation therapy is complex, but it should include at least two courses of high-dose ara-C (HDAC). Children who have hyperleukocytosis (too many white blood cells), especially monocytic M5 leukemia, have a poor prognosis.
Benzene Lawsuits – Talk to a Benzene Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) then you need to consult with an attorney to discuss a potential benzene exposure lawsuit. Talk to a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer, certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, with 30+ years of experience. Call 1-800-883-9858 or click the link below.