Stages of Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Other Myeloid Malignancies
Key Points for This Section
- Once childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
- There is no standard staging system for childhood AML, childhood chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
The following tests and procedures may be used to determine if the leukemia has spread:
- Lumbar puncture : A procedure used to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the spinal column. This is done by placing a needle into the spinal column. This procedure is also called an LP or spinal tap.
- Biopsy of the testicles, ovaries, or skin: The removal of cells or tissues from the testicles, ovaries, or skin so they can be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. This is done only if something unusual about the testicles, ovaries, or skin is found during the physical exam.
The extent or spread of cancer is usually described as stages. Instead of stages, treatment of childhood AML, childhood CML, JMML, and MDS is based on one or more of the following:
- The type of disease or the subtype of AML.
- Whether leukemia has spread outside the blood and bone marrow.
- Whether the disease is newly diagnosed, in remission, or recurrent.
Newly diagnosed childhood AML
- More than 20% of the cells in the bone marrow are blasts (leukemia cells).
- Less than 20% of the cells in the bone marrow are blasts and there is a specific change in the chromosome.
Childhood AML in remission
- The complete blood count is almost normal.
- Less than 5% of the cells in the bone marrow are blasts (leukemia cells).
- There are no signs or symptoms of leukemia in the brain, spinal cord, or other parts of the body.