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Ask about leukaemia

Ask Caroline, a Macmillan Nurse working with people who have Leukaemia, Myelodysplasia and Myeloproliferative diseases. She'll aim to respond within 2 working days.

AML WBC count is 900k.

Zee13
Posted by

My spouse was detected with AML over a year ago. She has been through combination chemo, induction chemo, several rounds of cyterabine. Lastly, she took 2 courses of midostaurin (28 days each). The WBC count went down with cyterabine and midostaurin from 600,000 to 70,000. But now it is back up to 900,000. Clearly no chemo is working. She has been asked to undergo transplant.

My question: How long can a person survive with a WBC/blast count of 900,000 while waiting on a marrow transplant? Does such a high WBC count pose an immediate risk?

Thanks.
Zee (India).
Caroline- Macmillan

Hi there,

you don't say if she is on hydroxycarbamide or not, but if she isn't, it can control the wcc for a while and can be titrated as much as required. This sounds like a very resistant AML and the danger would be that he disease would accelerate while waiting to go for transplant- then she may be out of options.

I hope this helps

Caroline - Macmillan  Information Nurse Specialist

Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.  

Zee13
Posted by

Thank you! No she's not on hydroxycarbamide. Can you predict a time-frame as to how long a person can endure with such a high WBC count? She is 33.

Thanks.
Zee (India).
Caroline- Macmillan

it will depend on how she is physically. I have saw patients with high wcc respond very well to hydroxycarbamide and manage well. However the transplant will be a risky procedure, especially given her previous breast cancer and lymphoma.

Caroline - Macmillan  Information Nurse Specialist

Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.