, Volume 71, Issue 12, pp 1537-1550
Date: 24 Sep 2012

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

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Abstract

The current treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia yields poor results, with expected cure rates in the order of 30–40% depending on the biological characteristics of the leukaemic clone. Therefore, new agents and schemas are intensively studied in order to improve patients’ outcomes. This review summarizes some of these new paradigms, including new questions such as which anthracycline is most effective and at what dose. High doses of daunorubicin have shown better responses in young patients and are well tolerated in elderly patients. Monoclonal antibodies are promising agents in good risk patients. Drugs blocking signalling pathways could be used in combination with chemotherapy or in maintenance with promising results. Epigenetic therapies, particularly after stem cell transplantation, are also discussed. New drugs such as clofarabine and flavopiridol are reviewed and the results of their use discussed. It is clear that many new approaches are under study and hopefully will be able to improve on the outcomes of the commonly used ‘7+3’ regimen of an anthracycline plus cytarabine with daunorubicin, which is clearly an ineffective therapy in the majority of patients.