Innovative strategies for adverse karyotype acute myeloid leukemia

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Adverse karyotype acute myeloid leukemia is a disease particularly of older patients, but also observed in younger patients. Despite all efforts, standard chemotherapy is still generally applied in fit patients, as already for decades, and for nearly all different subtypes of acute myeloid leukemia. Lack of more specifically targeted therapy and the often older age of the patients are complicating treatment, and in the subgroup of patients achieving a complete remission, the strikingly high frequency of relapse is a characteristic of this disease. This review aims to give an overview of current treatment approaches as well as emerging therapies.

Recent findings

Currently, the approach of a targeted therapy specific to the genetic and/or epigenetic aberrations detected in the individual patient is still not possible, and a ‘one treatment fits all’ course of action is still used, with allografting as curative consolidation. However, first immunotherapeutic approaches are emerging as treatment options and first phase 1 and 2 studies are described.

Summary

Treatment of acute myeloid leukemia with adverse karyotype is still not individualized, most treatment options currently not being curative. This can change in the near future, but recent findings will have to be implemented into larger phase 3 studies before being standard of care.

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