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Keywords:

  • acute myeloid leukaemia;
  • hematopoietic stem cell transplantation;
  • cytarabine;
  • daunorubicin;
  • HIDAC

Abstract

Chemotherapy regimens used for remission induction in AML have not changed significantly over the last several decades. However the recognition of the prognostic value of cytogenetics and genomics has been a major advance which is helping clarify the most optimal post-remission consolidation strategy among various risk groups. We are not only beginning to realize the pitfalls of a ‘one-fits-all’ approach with intensive, cytarabine-based chemotherapy as the mainstay, but we are finally beginning to reap the rewards of decades of basic, translational, and clinical research. Developing individualized, ‘targeted’ therapy for each AML patient based on unique molecular features of disease remains a daunting goal yet one that we can now begin to envision. Hypothesis-based study designs—from pre-clinical/laboratory experiments to phase-I and subsequent efficacy trials—provide the foundation for advances in the diagnosis, risk stratification, and treatment for patients with AML. Here we critically review the literature for the management of AML, try to give recommendations regarding the appropriate induction and remission strategy, clarify the role of stem cell transplantation and discuss novel agents on the horizon. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.