Over half of patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are 65 years or older. We examined patient characteristics, treatment patterns, and survival among elderly patients in routine clinical practice. We utilized a retrospective cohort analysis of first primary AML patients in the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database. Patients were diagnosed between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2009, >66 years, and continuously enrolled in Medicare Part A and B in the year prior to diagnosis. Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards regression assessed overall survival by treatment. There were 3327 (40 %) patients who received chemotherapy within 3 months of diagnosis. Treated patients were more likely younger, male, and married, and less likely to have secondary AML and poor performance indicators and comorbidity score compared to untreated patients. In multivariate survival analysis, treated patients exhibited a significant 33 % lower risk of death compared to untreated patients. Significant survival benefits were noted with receipt of intensive and hypomethylating agent (HMA) therapies compared to no therapy. A survival benefit with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was seen in younger Medicare patients. This real-world study showed that about 60 % of elderly AML patients remain untreated following diagnosis. Use of anti-leukemic therapy was associated with a significant survival benefit in this elderly cohort.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00277-015-2351-x
View details for Web of Science ID 000354470600007
View details for PubMedID 25791241