Health-Related Quality of Life and Treatment of Older Adults with Acute Myeloid Leukemia: a Young International Society of Geriatric Oncology Review Paper

  • Kah Poh LohEmail author
  • Maya Abdallah
  • Anita J. Kumar
  • Nina R Neuendorff
  • Saurabh Dahiya
  • Heidi D. Klepin
Acute Myeloid Leukemias (H Erba, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Acute Myeloid Leukemias


Purpose of Review

The treatment landscape for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is evolving. Many treatments have comparable efficacy making their impact on quality of life (QoL) an important differentiating factor. In this review, we discuss QoL in older adults with AML, focusing on therapeutic and observational trials that have incorporated QoL assessments.

Recent Findings

Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a multi-dimensional concept incorporating physical, mental, emotional, and social functioning domains. HRQoL components overlap with components of geriatric assessment, a multidisciplinary diagnostic process that identifies underlying vulnerabilities of older adults and guides subsequent management strategies. HRQoL questionnaires may be general, cancer-specific, leukemia-specific, or symptom-focused. Therapeutic and observational cohort studies suggest HRQoL improves, or at least remains stable, during intensive and lower-intensity therapies. Nonetheless, HRQoL is not routinely incorporated in AML therapeutic trials.


HRQoL assessments can inform both decision-making and management for older adults with AML.


Acute myeloid leukemia Quality of life Geriatric assessment Therapeutic trials Intensive therapies Lower intensity therapies 



We would like to thank Susan Rosenthal, MD for her editorial assistance. Dr. Loh is supported by the National Cancer Institute (K99CA237744) and Wilmot Research Fellowship Award.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Neuendorff declares travel support from Jazz Pharmaceuticals and advisory work for Janssen outside of the submitted work. Dr. Loh services as a consultant to Pfizer and Seattle Genetics. Dr. Kumar, Dr. Klepin, and Dr. Abdallah declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kah Poh Loh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maya Abdallah
    • 2
  • Anita J. Kumar
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nina R Neuendorff
    • 5
  • Saurabh Dahiya
    • 6
  • Heidi D. Klepin
    • 7
  1. 1.James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute, Division of Hematology/OncologyUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School-BaystateSpringfieldUSA
  3. 3.Division of Hematology/OncologyTufts Medical CenterBostonUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Clinical Research & Health Policy Studies, Tufts Medical CenterBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Internal Medicine V, Hematology, Oncology and RheumatologyUniversity Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  6. 6.Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer CenterUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  7. 7.Section on Hematology and OncologyWake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer CenterWinston-SalemUSA

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