Survival in patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia in Germany and the United States: Major differences in survival in young adults

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Previous epidemiologic studies on AML have been limited by the rarity of the disease. Here, we present population level data on survival of patients with AML in Germany and the United States (US). Data were extracted from 11 population-based cancer registries in Germany and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER13) database in the US. Patients diagnosed with AML in 1997–2011 were included. Period analysis was used to estimate 5-year relative survival (RS) and trends in survival in the early 21st century. Overall 5-year age-adjusted RS for patients with AML in 2007–2011 was greater in Germany than in the US at 22.8% and 18.8%, respectively. Five-year RS was higher in Germany than in the US at all ages, with particularly large differences at ages 15–24 for whom 5-year RS was 64.3% in Germany and 55.0% in the US and 35–44, with 5-year RS estimates of 61.8% in Germany and 46.6% in the US. Most of the difference in 5-year RS was due to higher 1-year RS, with overall 1-year RS estimates of 47.0% in Germany and 38.5% in the US. A small increase in RS was observed between 2003–2005 and 2009–2011 in both countries, but no increase in survival was observed in either country for ages 75+. To our knowledge, this is the first detailed description of AML survival in Germany. Comparison to the US suggests that further analysis into risk factors for poor outcomes in AML in the US may be useful in improving survival.

What's new?

The recent availability of comprehensive data in Germany has made it possible to study population-level survival for rare cancers such as acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML). Here, the authors offer the first detailed description of AML survival in the country, providing age-adjusted and age-specific 1- and 5-year survival estimates and analyzing survival trends. Comparison between Germany and the United States shows higher probability of 1- and 5-year survival in Germany, especially for younger patients. The results suggest incremental progress in the treatment of AML and a need to further investigate risk factors in the United States, especially regarding access to treatment.

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