Independent prognostic variables in acute myeloid leukaemia.
Smith ML., Hills RK., Grimwade D.
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is one of the most common haematological malignancies and is increasing in frequency due to an ageing population. Whilst remission will be achieved in up to 80% of those receiving intensive chemotherapy, the main variables precluding cure are the treatment-related mortality and relapse rates. Decisions on intensification, de-escalation and allografting rely on the ability to divide an apparently homogeneous group according to risk. A wide range of clinical, cytogenetic and molecular variables may be used to inform this task. Cytogenetic and molecular characterisation has already identified subgroups, such as acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) with t(15;17)/PML-RARA and AML with FLT3 mutation for which targeted therapies are available, and further molecularly defined groups who may be potential candidates for this approach are likely to be identified in the future. This review examines the range of established clinical and diagnostic parameters that should be used in assessing prognosis for a patient with AML and looks ahead to an expanding repertoire of potential variables that are currently under evaluation.