Acta haematologica

Selection of elderly acute myeloid leukemia patients for intensive chemotherapy: effectiveness of intensive chemotherapy and subgroup analysis.

PMID 25470986


Despite the advances in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treatment, the prognosis of elderly patients remains poor and no definitive treatment guideline has been established. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of intensive chemotherapy in elderly AML patients and to determine which subgroup of patients would be most responsive to the therapy. We retrospectively analyzed 84 elderly patients: 35, 19, and 30 patients were administered intensive chemotherapy, low-dose chemotherapy, and supportive care, respectively. Among those who received intensive chemotherapy, there were 17 cases of remission after induction chemotherapy; treatment-related mortality was 22.9%. The median overall survival was 7.9 months. Multivariate analysis indicated that the significant prognostic factors for overall survival were performance status, fever before treatment, platelet count, blast count, cytogenetic risk category, and intensive chemotherapy. Subgroup analysis showed that intensive chemotherapy was markedly effective in the relatively younger patients (65-70 years) and those with de novo AML, better-to-intermediate cytogenetic risk, no fever before treatment, high albumin levels, and high lactate dehydrogenase levels. Elderly AML patients had better outcomes with intensive chemotherapy than with low-intensity chemotherapy. Thus, appropriate subgroup selection for intensive chemotherapy is likely to improve therapeutic outcome.