The cure rates of acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) have undergone a marked improvement in recent years thanks to personalized and adapted treatment. "Acute myeloid leukemia, which was a disease with very low cure rates two or three decades ago, at present, and especially in younger patients, we are reaching figures close to 40-50%, but there is even a subtype of LAM, such as acute promyelocytic leukemia, for which cure rates can reach up to 80% of patients, "explained Dr. José Francisco Tomás, head of the Department of Hematology at MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid, in the framework of a meeting on Review of Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia, which brought together the best Spanish experts and specialists from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
"The cure rates of acute myeloblastic leukemia are reaching figures close to 40-50%"
Acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) is the most common acute form of leukemia in adults, with more than half of the cases appearing after 60 years of age. This disease consists of an abnormal growth in the hematopoietic cells of the bone marrow (responsible for producing blood), which makes them proliferate and stop producing red blood cells, leukocytes and platelets, key elements for the proper functioning of the organism, which causes significant anemia, leukopenia with infection and thrombocytopenia with bleeding in the patient.
"In recent years, the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia is being conducted in a more targeted, personalized and adapted to each case, since, thanks to the latest advances, today we can define much better this disease from the point of genetic and molecular view, "Dr. Tomás has indicated.
However, the complexity of the disease itself, the need for a complete and detailed diagnosis, as well as the particularity of the clinical treatments make acute myeloblastic leukemia a pathology that, according to all participants in the meeting, should be treated only in specialized centers, since being a not very common disease, the experience of health professionals is especially relevant.
Among the therapeutic advances achieved, experts gathered in Madrid highlighted the availability of new drugs, both those aimed at some of the new molecular markers like the use of chemotherapy, which is still the basis of treatment. The participants also agreed that the role of the allogeneic bone marrow transplant (one in which a compatible donor is needed) continues to be very relevant, since it is the treatment of choice in more than a third of patients.
Those attending the meeting also reviewed the techniques of transplantation and noted "the improvement in clinical outcomes that has been experienced in the last decade, mainly due to the experience of teams of specialists and better knowledge and treatment of complications of patients ", According to the specialist of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid.
Source: MD Anderson Center Madrid