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Adult myeloid leukaemias: Pathogenesis, clinical features and classification

Acute and chronic myeloid leukaemias and the myelodysplastic syndromes affect the formation of blood cells in the bone marrow. Genetic factors are linked to the development and prognosis of these diseases

By Nick Duncan, MSc, MRPharmS

Scanning electron micrograph of blood



Adult myeloid leukaemias and the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are all disorders of bone marrow stem cells that result in ineffective haematopoiesis. Patients with acute myeloid leukaemia usually present with symptoms associated with bone marrow failure; MDS and chronic myeloid leukaemia are often detected by chance.

Diagnosis generally relies on a mixture of microscopy and cytogenetic analyses. An increasing understanding of the genetic abnormalities associated with these diseases has led to improvements in risk stratification and treatment. 

Nick Duncan is principal pharmacist for haematology/oncology at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.


Citation: Clinical Pharmacist URI: 11004807

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