Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
(AML) Relapse

There is a chance that following AML remission, the cancer may return. When this happens, this is called a relapse.1 A relapse can be a frightening and worrying time.

After a relapse diagnosis, you may feel overwhelmed. There are a number of new decisions that will need to be made about treatment and the thought of undergoing further treatment can be frightening. However, following a relapse, it is more important than ever that you feel empowered to make the best treatment decision for you or your loved one.

Some people find that understanding how relapse can affect their life can help them discuss and agree a more personalised plan with their clinical team. The information on this page aims to support informed treatment decisions, alongside the support and guidance of your healthcare team. Every individual’s situation and diagnosis is different, and not all treatments will be available or appropriate for each person.

Remember, treatment decisions will ultimately be down to you to decide on with your healthcare team. 

Why does a relapse happen?

Some people find that increasing their medical knowledge about what causes a relapse can help them understand their situation better.

What treatment options might be available?


While treatment options following a relapse may be more limited, there are still several therapy options available to you.

What support is available to deal with relapse?

Experiencing a relapse can be emotionally difficult; it is important to be aware that you are not alone and that there are resources and people available who can offer support during this time.


1. Leukaemia Care. Relapse in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). [Last accessed: July 2023].

2. Medical News Today. AML relapse: What it means and treatment options. [Last accessed: July 2023].

3. Hourigan CS, Karp JE. Minimal residual disease in acute myeloid leukaemia. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2013;10(8):460–471.

4. Thol F, Gancer A. Treatment of Relapsed Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2020;21(8):66.

5. Saultz JN, Garzon R. Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Concise Review. J Clin Med. 2016;5(3):33.

6. Gregory TK, Wald D, Chen Y, et al. Molecular prognostic markers for adult acute myeloid leukaemia with normal cytogenetics. J Hematol Oncol. 2009;2:23.

7. NHS inform. Palliative care. [Last accessed: July 2023].

8. National Cancer Centre Singapore. Providing care through the final days.

Terminology Explained

Learn and understand the different terminology associated with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, or AML, in our Terminology Explained guide.

MAT-MY-NON-2023-00016 | Dec 2023