Treating Newly Diagnosed Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Older Adults
Patient Guideline Summary
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a rare cancer of the blood that afflicts mostly the elderly. In patients aged 65-74 years, it means, on average, dying a decade too soon.
- Note: symptoms include fever, bone pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin, frequent infections, easy bruising, and unusual bleeding.
- This patient summary focuses on the risks and benefits of treating older adults with AML.
- For AML there are several options available:
- Targeted therapy
- Stem cell transplant, sometimes preceded by radiation
- Transfusion of blood or blood products
- These options can be used singly, in combination, or sequentially.
- Each option has significant side effects, so they are divided into “intensive,” “not intensive” and supportive/palliative.
- ASH urges treatment decisions to place a priority on quality-of-life issues when choosing a treatment plan and to individualize each plan according to the patient’s unique situation, needs, and desires.
- AML: Acute Myeloid Leukemia
- ASH: American Society Of Hematology