The 10-year overall survival for younger patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia has improved threefold in the past 2 decades. This improvement has occurred in large part because of advances in supportive care and efforts to optimize standard induction and consolidation therapies applied in a stratified approach based on predictors of individual patient risk. Innovations in diagnostic technologies have broadened the understanding of key prognostic factors, including cytogenetic and molecular status, which define the extensive interpatient heterogeneity of this clonal disease. Despite this progress, only approximately 25% of patients who experience a complete remission with cytotoxic chemotherapy (50%-70% of patients with newly diagnosed disease) remain disease-free. Efforts to develop novel agents are actively ongoing, particularly for older patients (age > or = 60), and targeted therapies, for specific subsets of patients are being based on a better understanding of the biology of the disease.
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