Novel treatment options for acute myelocytic leukemia

Author(s): Michael S Mathisen, Hagop M Kantarjian, Jorge Cortes, Farhad Ravandi & Elias J Jabbour

Acute myelocytic leukemia (AML) is an extremely heterogeneous disease with outcomes that vary widely according to subtype of the disease. Nevertheless, the majority of patients are not cured of the disease, and improvements in therapy are required. A number of recent studies challenge the notion that ‘7 + 3’ chemotherapy (cytarabine combined with an anthracycline) is the standard of care for most patients with AML. Targeted therapy with monoclonal antibodies and small-molecule kinase inhibitors are very promising strategies to help improve the cure rate. This review will highlight the results of recent clinical trials in which outcomes have been influenced significantly. Novel approaches to sequencing and combining available therapies will also be covered. Finally, molecularly targeted therapies relevant to AML will be discussed.