An Overview: Supportive Care, Complications, and Oncologic Emergencies

Both acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and its treatment can cause complications and side effects, including infection and bleeding. Patients receive supportive care to prevent or control these problems and to improve their quality of life during treatment.1

Supportive care approaches, including transfusions, antibiotics, and growth factor, are common ways to help manage complications.1,2

 Oncologic emergencies include:

  • Leukostasis3
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)4
  • Sepsis5

These syndromes can be life-threatening and must be rapidly diagnosed so that they don’t interfere with the treatment of leukemia, which is also considered an oncologic emergency.5,6

There are other emergencies that are particular to certain treatments. Be sure to check the Prescribing Information for each treatment for more information.

References: 1. Cannas G, Thomas X. Supportive care in patients with acute leukaemia: historical perspectives. Blood Transfus. 2015;13(2):205-220. 2. Referenced with permission from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Acute Myeloid Leukemia V.1.2019. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2019. All rights reserved. Accessed January 29, 2019. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to The National Comprehensive Cancer Network makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever regarding their content, use or application and disclaims any responsibility for their application or use in any way.
3. Rasche M, Zimmermann M, Borschel L, et al. Successes and challenges in the treatment of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia: a retrospective analysis of the AML-BFM trials from 1987 to 2012. Leukemia. 2018;32(10):2167-2177. 4. Ookura M, Hosono N, Tasaki T, et al. Successful treatment of disseminated intravascular coagulation by recombinant human soluble thrombomodulin in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(44):e12981. 5. Malik I, Cardenas-Turanzas M, Gaeta S, et al. Sepsis and acute myeloid leukemia: a population-level study of comparative outcomes of patients discharged from Texas hospitals. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2017;17(12):e27-e32. 6. Sekeres MA, Elson P, Kalaycio ME, et al. Time from diagnosis to treatment initiation predicts survival in younger, but not older, acute myeloid leukemia patients. Blood. 2009;113(1):28-36.