What is it?

Leukemia is a type of blood cancer, interfering with normal functioning of the bone marrow. Monocytic leukemia is a type of myeloid leukemia where there is a dominance of monoblast cells. It is divided into acute and chronic monocytic leukemia. Acute monocytic leukemia (AMoL, AML-M5) is a type of acute myeloid leukemia, which involves pathologic proliferation and differentiation of myeloid stem cells. The causes for this pathology involves mutations in genes, usually translocations of chromosomes- creating unusual rearrangement of chromosomes. Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), is a chronic blood cancer in which the bone marrow does not produce blood effectively. In this disorder, some of the immature blood cells never fully develop into mature blood cells.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of acute monocytic leukemia may include high risk for infections which can present with fever, runny nose, cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, pain when urinating, diarrhea and many more. Symptoms of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia may include enlarged spleen, weight loss, fatigue, shortness of breath, bleeding or easy bruising.


In order to diagnose AMoL, the patient must have more than 20% blast cells, and more than 80% must be of the monocytic lineage. Monoblasts cells are identified by some unique features. Also, this type of leukemia may present with some markers which can be tested to diagnose the immunophenotype. CMML is also diagnosed with blood and bone marrow tests. X-RAY or CT may detect an enlarged spleen or liver and other blood work may include high levels of lysozyme, LDH and beta 2-microglobulin. Genetic tests for mutation may be done to test certain mutations for both acute and chronic monocytic leukemia.


Treatment of AMoL includes chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation. Biological treatment may include Tyrosine kinase inhibitor. CMML treatment may include biological drugs like Vidaza, Dacogen and Inqovi. Other treatments include chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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