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2020 Guidelines on Treating AML

Published: 2020-10-01 |

Author: Rita Aghjayan |

Source: American Society of Hematology

In 2020 guidelines intended to support patients, clinicians, and other health care professionals and decision-makers, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) provided evidence-based recommendations for older adults with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The guidelines were developed to help patients from diagnosis through post-remission therapy, and end-of-life and hospice care.

While an average adult aged 75 years living in the United States may live for dozens of more years with about 96% chance of being alive 1 year, an adult of the same age with AML has an average life expectancy measured in months. Only 1 in 5 older adults with AML will survive after 1 year, and there is less than 4% chance of 3-year survival. For adults aged 65 to 74 years, the prognosis is only slightly superior. "Thus, on average, being diagnosed with AML at age 65 years or older in the United States means dying a decade too soon," the guideline authors wrote.

In the development of these guidelines, the members of the panel mainly focused on helping clinicians with decision-making and treatment alternatives by using critical questions for the management of AML in older adults. Questions involved the pursuit of antileukemic treatment vs best supportive management, therapy intensity, the role and duration of post-remission therapy, combination vs monotherapy for induction and beyond, duration of less-intensive therapy, and the role of transfusion support for patients no longer receiving antileukemic therapy.

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