Norton Children’s Cancer Institute offers clinical trials for kids with AML

Finding a cure for acute myeloid leukemia through clinical trials

It’s the news no parent wants to hear: acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This cancer of the bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made — is rare but dangerous, affecting about 500 children in the U.S. every year.

Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, is participating in two clinical trials for the treatment of AML.

Norton Children’s Cancer Institute participates in pediatric oncology clinical trials and research and is a long-standing member of the Children’s Oncology Group, the world’s largest group of hospitals treating children with cancer. Norton Children’s Cancer Institute is also part of the Beat Childhood Cancer research consortium: a group of 40-plus universities and children’s hospitals offering a worldwide network of childhood cancer research trials.

About AML

“Acute” refers to the disease’s typically fast progression. It’s called myeloid leukemia because it affects a group of progenitor myeloid stem cells. Normal myeloid cells develop into various types of mature blood cells, such as red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Symptoms of AML include:

  • Bleeding that starts easily but is hard to stop, even from small wounds
  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Easily bruised skin
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Pain in bones or joints
  • Swollen glands
  • Decreased appetite

Norton Children’s Cancer Institute

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Call (502) 629-7725

Treatments for AML

Treatments for leukemia and lymphoma include:

Chemotherapy: “Chemo” uses powerful medication to kill cancer cells or stop them from making more cancer cells. Chemo can be given via bloodstream injection or by mouth in pill or liquid form.

Stem cell/bone marrow transplant: Patients who have not responded to other treatments may be good candidates for stem cell treatments. This procedure replaces blood-forming cells in the bone marrow with healthy donor cells that create new healthy blood cells.

Radiation therapy: This treatment is not used often to treat AML but can be used in instances of relapse or myeloid sarcoma. It uses high energy X-ray or other radiation to destroy cancer cells.