Diagnosis

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Two tests to reach diagnosis

Your health care team will need to test your blood and bone marrow to diagnose acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Patients may be diagnosed by having a bone marrow aspiration and a bone marrow biopsy. These tests will measure the levels of different blood cells in your body and help your health care team give an accurate diagnosis.

Your doctor uses blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy to determine if you have AML. The table below illustrates the different blood cell counts that can be found in patients with AML. Changes may be seen in the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. The lab may also identify changes in blasts

different blood cell counts that can be found in patients with AML

What happens after I've had my bone marrow aspiration and biopsy?

FLT3 testing - a key step in the treatment journey

Your health care provider may also order additional tests to identify the specific type of AML that you have.

One test that your doctor is likely to use is genetic screening. AML is linked with mutations of certain types of genes. Genetic screening may identify genes that have mutated, including one of the most common AML-related mutations, FLT3 (pronounced "flit-three"). Approximately 30% of patients with AML harbor some form of FLT3 mutation.

Identifying such mutations may help your health care provider determine a tailored plan for treating your AML.

What is FLT3+ AML, and how does it affect my treatment options?

Your doctor may have mentioned that you have a specific type of AML known as FLT3-positive AML. FLT3 is a gene that can help determine which AML treatments may be most appropriate for you, allowing your health care provider to design a tailored treatment plan. The DNA in your cells can become altered (or mutated), and when the FLT3 gene is affected, it can play a major role in your cancer’s development.

 

If your doctor has found that your FLT3 gene is mutated, he or she may have told you that you are positive for FLT3. This is one of the reasons you have been prescribed RYDAPT® (midostaurin) capsules, in combination with certain chemotherapeutic agents.

about 3 out of 10 patients with AML have a FLT3+ mutation

Knowing which gene is mutated may mean that you are eligible to get a treatment that targets this specific mutation.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR

Communicate regularly with your health care provider so informed decisions can be made regarding your treatment.

 

It is always a good idea to have a loved one or caregiver with you when you see your doctor. You will probably get a lot of information at once. Having someone there with you to take notes and ask questions can help you stay organized and help you stay positive.

 

Following are a few questions that you may want to ask your doctor about treatment.

 

  • What symptoms or side effects should I tell you about right away?
  • How will I know if my treatment with RYDAPT is working?
  • What if I forget to take RYDAPT?
  • Do I need to change my diet during treatment with RYDAPT?
  • Is monitoring required while I’m taking RYDAPT?
  • What if I stop taking RYDAPT?
  • What if I take too much RYDAPT?
  • How long will I need to stay on RYDAPT?
  • What should I know about taking RYDAPT while sexually active?
  • What if I’m pregnant or lactating, or plan on becoming pregnant?
  • How will taking RYDAPT at home be different than taking it in the hospital?

 

Be sure to bring up any additional questions that may help you better understand how to get the most out of your treatment, as all of your questions are important.