Should the Detection of a Mutation of Fms-like Tyrosine Kinase 3 (FLT3) Influence the Management of a Young Adult with Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Adam Mead

Department of Haematology, University College London, London, UK.

Over the last 3 decades there have been significant advances in the treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), excluding acute promyelocytic leukemia, such that up to 85% of adults aged <60 years can achieve complete remission (CR) with standard therapeutic approaches [1,2]. Despite this success, disease recurrence will occur in the majority of patients who enter remission. Consequently, less than half of young adults with AML are alive 5 years after diagnosis. Identification of prognostic factors can enable different therapeutic approaches to be adopted when standard therapy is likely to fail. One such prognostic variable is the karyotype of leukemic blasts at diagnosis. Using this criterion, patients may be classified into three broad prognostic groups therefore allowing a degree of risk stratification in current clinical trials [3]. However, exactly how treatment should be modified according to cytogenetic status remains controversial [4].

Return to top