Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a disease that is characterized by uncontrolled proliferation of clonal neoplastic cells and accumulation in the bone marrow of blasts with an impaired differentiation program. AML accounts for approximately 80% of all adult leukemias and remains the most common cause of leukemia death. Two major types of genetic events have been described that are crucial for leukemic transformation. A proposed necessary first event is disordered cell growth and upregulation of cell survival genes. The most common of these activating events were observed in the RTK Flt3, in N-Ras and K-Ras, in Kit, and sporadically in other RTKs. Alterations in myeloid transcription factors governing hematopoietic differentiation provide second necessary event for leukemogenesis. Transcription factor fusion proteins such as AML-ETO, PML-RARalpha or PLZF-RARalpha block myeloid cell differentiation by repressing target genes. In other cases, the transcription factors themselves are mutated.