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ASH Issues Guidelines on Newly Diagnosed AML in Older Adults

Antileukemic therapy recommended over supportive care for patients who are candidates for such therapy

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In evidence-based guidelines issued by the American Society of Hematology and published in the Aug. 11 issue of Blood Advances, recommendations are presented for the management of newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in older adults.

Mikkael A. Sekeres, M.D., from the Taussig Cancer Center at the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues developed evidence-based guidelines to support patients, clinicians, and other health care professionals in their decisions about AML management in older adults.

The recommendations relate to newly diagnosed de novo, treatment-related, and secondary AML in patients aged 55 years and older. The authors recommend offering antileukemic therapy over best supportive care for those patients who are candidates for such therapy. Intensive antileukemic therapy is suggested over less-intensive antileukemic therapy for patients who are considered candidates for intensive therapy. Postremission therapy is suggested over no additional therapy for older adults with AML who achieve remission after at least a single cycle of intensive antileukemic therapy and who are not candidates for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. For those achieving a response to less-intensive therapy, continuing therapy indefinitely is suggested over stopping therapy until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Red blood cell transfusions are suggested over not having transfusions available for those no longer receiving antileukemic therapy.

“A discussion between patient and physician is instrumental to creating a personalized treatment plan, and these guidelines are unique in that they keep a patient’s goals and wishes front and center in that conversation,” Sekeres said in a statement.

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