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Clin Med Insights Oncol. 2012;6:205-17. doi: 10.4137/CMO.S7244. Epub 2012 May 16.

Acute myeloid leukemia: focus on novel therapeutic strategies.

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1
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS.

Abstract

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous disease with variable clinical outcomes. Cytogenetic analysis reveals which patients may have favorable risk disease, but 5-year survival in this category is only approximately 60%, with intermediate and poor risk groups faring far worse. Advances in our understanding of the biology of leukemia pathogenesis and prognosis have not been matched with clinical improvements. Unsatisfactory outcomes persist for the majority of patients with AML, particularly the elderly. Novel agents and treatment approaches are needed in the induction, post-remission and relapsed settings. The additions of clofarabine for relapsed or refractory disease and the hypomethylating agents represent recent advances. Clinical trials of FLT3 inhibitors have yielded disappointing results to date, with ongoing collaborations attempting to identify the optimal role for these agents. Potential leukemia stem cell targeted therapies and treatments in the setting of minimal residual disease are also under investigation. In this review, we will discuss recent advances in AML treatment and novel therapeutic strategies.

KEYWORDS:

FLT3; acute myeloid leukemia; cancer stem cells; clofarabine; gemtuzumab ozogamicin

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