Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia

What Is Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia?

Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a rare type of blood cancer. It develops from cells in the bone marrow, which is the soft inner part of bones. The cancerous cells crowd out healthy blood cells. Although CMML is a type of leukemia, it’s not as aggressive as other types of leukemia. It develops and progresses more slowly.

People with CMML may experience fatigue, fever and night sweats. Other common symptoms include weight loss, an enlarged spleen, paleness, infection, easy bleeding and shortness of breath.


To make a diagnosis, your doctor may order tests such as imaging scans or bone marrow biopsy. Imaging scans are used to look for tumors or signs of cancer. During a bone marrow biopsy, a doctor takes a sample of your bone marrow with a needle and examines it in the lab. Your doctor may also count your blood cells. If you have too many or too few of a certain type of blood cell, it can indicate cancer.


Treatment for CMML may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Immunotherapy

You and your doctor should discuss the best treatment plan for your particular situation. In some cases, no treatment is needed.


The prognosis for CMML varies depending on the individual patient and the characteristics of the cancer. People with some types of CMML may have a better prognosis and may not need any treatment. For people with a more aggressive form of CMML, the prognosis may not be as positive.

Talk to your doctor to learn more about your individual prognosis.