Skip to Navigation Skip to Search Skip to Content
Search All Centers

When Should AML Patients Consider a Splenectomy?

Read Transcript Download/Print Transcript

Published on May 8, 2018

What treatment options are available for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with an enlarged spleen? What is the best route for those who need a transplant? Noted AML expert Dr. Ross Levine from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center explains what point on their treatment journey AML patients should consider getting a splenectomy, and discusses the safest circumstance for patients to undergo the operation. Watch now to learn more about spleen removal for AML.  

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power, in partnership with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). We thank Astellas, Celgene Corporation, Novartis, Pfizer and Seattle Genetics for their support.

Featuring

Partners

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)

Sponsors

Patient Empowerment Network

You might also like

Transcript | When Should AML Patients Consider a Splenectomy?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:          

Okay. As we mentioned, there are some people with my condition, myelofibrosis, who end up going to transplant developing AML.

And some of us will develop an enlarged spleen. So, we talked about chemo in getting ready for transplant. But should somebody have a splenectomy to take out that spleen beforehand? Where does that come into play? Either of you? Is that appropriate?

Dr. Nichols:                

There was some data at this conference, so I think it’s…

Dr. Levine:                  

…I think that it’s an evolving area. I think that 10 years ago, the answer would have been yes, in general, going into a bone marrow transplant with a giant organ full of blood cells that can be hard, if it’s even full of myelofibrosis cells, to get rid of. Patients often are wasting and not feeling well. And that big spleen is a big part of that. Their stomach gets compressed. So we used to do that a lot. I think we’re moving to an era where we’re doing it less and less. We have medicines now that can shrink the spleen in many patients. 

It’s still not outside of clinical trials. So we wouldn’t recommend that we would use medical treatments to shrink the spleen, unless you’re on a clinical trial. But we’re seeing some evidence that medicines like Jakafi or ruxolitinib, on a clinical trial, is part of the transplant regimen, may be useful, but it has to be done by someone who understands what they’re doing and is studying it and watching carefully. It’s not the same as taking ruxolitinib (Jakafi) outside as a treatment.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.