Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a disease mostly diagnosed in older adults. Treatment of older patients with AML remains challenging with higher rates of intrinsic chemotherapeutic resistance and decreased treatment tolerance. Indeed AML in older patients has different clinical and biologic characteristics compared to younger patients. Several treatment options are available for treatment of AML in older patients, namely conventional intensive chemotherapy (‘3 + 7’), low-dose cytarabine, and hypomethylating agents. Combinations with new drugs have been recently approved or are in advanced stages of clinical testing, namely venetoclax, midostaurin, glasdegib. Clinical decision making should take into account disease characteristics (e.g. cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities, white blood cell count), patient characteristics (e.g. performance, comorbidities, geriatric assessment) and patients’ preference when considering which treatment option is most suitable for the older patient. Allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) as post-remission strategy should also be considered for older patients with AML. Allogeneic HCT following reduced-intensity conditioning or non-myeloablative conditioning has made this treatment option more suitable for older patients with a reduction in treatment-related mortality.
Part of the book: Acute Leukemias