A new era of treatment for elderly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients?

Hagop M. Kantarjian, MD of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX discusses the new era of treatment for elderly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients at the International Symposium on Acute Leukemias (ISAL) 2017 in Munich, Germany. Up until the 80s, some leukemia experts argued that it is not worth treating elderly AML patients due to modest survival prolongation and low cure rates. Today, even among patients who cannot receive intensive chemotherapy, there are options including epigenetic therapy with azacitidine or decitabine, combinations with monoclonal antibodies such as venetoclax, and checkpoint inhibitors. According to Prof. Kantarjian these new strategies mean that we are entering a new era of low intensity therapy and targeted and immunomodulatory therapies that mean we can cure more elderly AML patients with less side effects.

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