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15-11-2016 | Hematologic cancers | Book chapter | Article

Therapeutic management of acute myeloid leukemia

Michael Fiegl
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is considered a curable disease and hence the primary therapeutic intention in a patient with newly diagnosed AML should be to cure the patient with intensive chemotherapy. However, there are two main reasons why clinicians should not follow this approach: firstly, intensive chemotherapy cannot be administered safely due to comorbidities (or patient refusal), and secondly, the patient will not benefit from intensive chemotherapy because of high-risk AML, which requires allogeneic stem cell transplantation that cannot be performed because of advanced age, comorbidities, or patient refusal. Such patients will receive palliative care as a cure is not achievable. Importantly, advanced age alone is no reason for withholding intensive chemotherapy.

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