Overview In 2010, approximately 12,330 people were diagnosed with and 8950 died of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).1 As the population ages, the incidence of AML, along with myelodysplasia, seems to be rising. Equally disturbing is the increasing incidence of treatment-related myelodysplasia and leukemia in survivors of childhood tumors and young adulthood, such as Hodgkin disease, sarcomas, breast and testicular cancers, and lymphomas. Ionizing radiation and occupational exposure to benzene and petrochemicals are also associated with AML.2 The NCCN AML Panel convenes annually to update guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of AML in adults. Clinical trials have led to significant improvements in treatment in some areas, primarily in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). However, recent large clinical trials have highlighted the need for new, innovative strategies because outcomes for patients, particularly older patients, have not substantially changed in the past 3 decades. The panel has focused on outlining reasonable treatment options based on recent clinical trials and data from basic science, which may identify new risk factors and treatment approaches. In some areas, panel members have divergent opinions about the relative risks and benefits of various treatment options. Therefore, these guidelines attempt to provide a rationale for the inclusion of several treatment options in some categories. Initial Evaluation Initial evaluation has 2 objectives. The first is to characterize the disease process, including factors such as 1) prior toxic exposure, 2) myelodysplasia, and 3) karyotypic or molecular abnormalities, which may provide prognostic information that could influence responsiveness to chemotherapy and risk of...
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