Which therapies are most commonly used to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in elderly patients?

Updated: May 26, 2020
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

The hypomethylating agents azacytidine and decitabine are the therapies most commonly prescribed for elderly patients with AML. Although response rates are low, these drugs are well tolerated and can result in prolonged remissions in some patients. Additionally, hypomethylators are active in AML subtypes that typically respond poorly to standard chemotherapy, including those with complex cytogenetics and TP53 mutations. [64] In a study of azacytidine treatment in 149 previously untreated AML patients (median age, 74 years) who were considered ineligible for intensive chemotherapy, 2-year OS was 51% in responders to azacytidine and 10% in non-responders (P < 0.0001). [65]


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