, Volume 96, Issue 2, pp 178-185
Date: 06 Aug 2012

Novel agents in acute myeloid leukemia

Abstract

Although complete remissions can be achieved in most patients younger than 60 years of age with untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML), only 30–40 % of patients remain long-term survivors. Furthermore, long-term survivors represent only 10–15 % of all AML patients older than 60 years of age and <10 % of all patients with relapsed AML. The development of new treatments for AML is therefore needed. Novel therapies should target specific mechanisms and pathways implicated in the development and maintenance of AML, should strive to have better tolerability than conventional combination chemotherapy, be associated with improved quality of life and minimize utilization of health care resources. In this manuscript, we discuss the role of epigenetic regulators and immunomodulatory agents in the treatment of AML. Also, we review the data on inhibitors of protein homeostasis and its synergistic effect to DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, the potential role for inhibitors of heat shock proteins and the mitotic machinery and a novel formulation of conventional chemotherapeutic agents given at a fixed molar concentration. Finally, we briefly share our views on optimal clinical trial design and patient selection for future studies in AML.