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Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML Leukemia)

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CMML leukemia occurs when the bone marrow produces too many immature white blood cells, myelocytes and monocytes. Some of these may never become mature white blood cells. They can also crowd out other blood cells, causing infection, anemia and easy bleeding.

People at higher risk for this type of leukemia tend to be:

  • Older
  • Male
  • Previously exposed to certain substances at work or in the environment, including radiation
  • Treated in the past with certain anticancer drugs

CMML Leukemia Symptoms

You may experience:

  • Fever for no known reason
  • Infection
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs


The following tests and procedures may be used:

  • Physical exam and history
  • Complete blood count (CBC) with differential
  • Peripheral blood smear
  • Blood chemistry studies
  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy

The following tests may be done on the sample of tissue that is removed:

  • Cytogenetic analysis 
  • Immunocytochemistry 

Treatment for CMML Leukemia

Five types of standard treatment are used:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Other drug therapy
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Supportive care
  • Targeted therapy


Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.