Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by proliferation of immature myeloid cells in bone marrow. In normal conditions, myeloid cells produce and develop cells such as neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils.

These immature cells begin to spread in uncontrolled fashion, invading the bone marrow, displacing normally functioning cells and causing anemia, thrombopenia, and neutropenia (due to a reduction in normal red blood cells, platelets, and neutrophils).

When these immature cells enter the blood they lose their ability to perform their function, increasing the patient's susceptibility to infection.