How I treat extramedullary acute myeloid leukemia

Blood. 2011 Oct 6;118(14):3785-93. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-04-347229. Epub 2011 Jul 27.


Extramedullary (EM) manifestations of acute leukemia include a wide variety of clinically significant phenomena that often pose therapeutic dilemmas. Myeloid sarcoma (MS) and leukemia cutis (LC) represent 2 well-known EM manifestations with a range of clinical presentations. MS (also known as granulocytic sarcoma or chloroma) is a rare EM tumor of immature myeloid cells. LC specifically refers to the infiltration of the epidermis, dermis, or subcutis by neoplastic leukocytes (leukemia cells), resulting in clinically identifiable cutaneous lesions. The molecular mechanisms underlying EM involvement are not well defined, but recent immunophenotyping, cytogenetic, and molecular analysis are beginning to provide some understanding. Certain cytogenetic abnormalities are associated with increased risk of EM involvement, potentially through altering tissue-homing pathways. The prognostic significance of EM involvement is not fully understood. Therefore, it has been difficult to define the optimal treatment of patients with MS or LC. The timing of EM development at presentation versus relapse, involvement of the marrow, and AML risk classification help to determine our approach to treatment of EM disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Drug Therapy
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / complications
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / genetics
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / pathology*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / therapy*
  • Leukemic Infiltration / complications
  • Leukemic Infiltration / genetics
  • Leukemic Infiltration / pathology*
  • Leukemic Infiltration / therapy*
  • Mutation
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma, Myeloid / complications
  • Sarcoma, Myeloid / genetics
  • Sarcoma, Myeloid / pathology*
  • Sarcoma, Myeloid / therapy*
  • Skin / pathology*