Latest Research on Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Executive Summary

Several latest research studies have been conducted to seek more information on acute myeloid leukemia, related prevention methods, diagnostic process at the initial phase, and best treatment strategies. Research on the biology of AML is ongoing to learn more about how leukaemia develops and improves its treatment, particularly for older patients. Specific research includes using hypomethylating therapy drugs, such as azacitidine or decitabine. A unique drug combination called CPX-351, which combines cytarabine and daunorubicin, is also being researched. Researchers study ways to block how specific genetic changes in AML cells affect the body. . Researchers are specifically looking at vaccines and antibodies against the AML cells. Researchers are also searching for adoptive immunotherapy techniques. Different ways to make stem cell transplantation safer, easier, and more effective are also being studied. Clinical trials are going on to find more acceptable ways of lessening symptoms and side effects of current cancer treatments to improve comfort and quality of life during treatment.

Advancement in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Doctors are learning more about AML, ways to prevent it, the best way to treat it, and how to give the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following research areas may comprise new alternatives for patients with the help of clinical trials. Always talk with the doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for you.

  • Understanding AML biology- Research on the biology of AML is ongoing to learn more about how leukaemia develops and improves its treatment, particularly for older patients ​1​.
  • New drugs and treatment regimens- Researchers are looking at existing drugs given in different doses and schedules and new drugs ​2​. Specific research includes using drugs called hypomethylating therapy, such as azacitidine or decitabine. A unique drug combination called CPX-351, which combines cytarabine and daunorubicin, is also being researched.
  • Targeted therapy- Researchers study ways to block how specific genetic changes found in AML cells affect the body. Quizartinib, gliteritinib and crenolanib are investigational drugs that stop the mutated FLT3 gene from working that is being tested in clinical trials. Other targeted therapies are being studied that stop AML cells from becoming resistant to chemotherapy when the chemotherapy stops working. Specific targeted therapy drugs being studied include glasdegib, venetoclax (Venclexta), and other targeted gene mutations such as IDH1, c-KIT, and RAS ​3​.
  • Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, boosts the body’s natural defences to fight leukaemia. It uses materials formed either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore the function of the immune system. Researchers are specifically looking at vaccines and antibodies against the AML cells. Researchers are also searching for adoptive immunotherapy techniques. This type of immunotherapy involves changing the white blood cells of a person in a laboratory to increase their ability to fight the tumour. The modified cells are given back to the patient.
  • Stem cell/bone marrow transplantation- Different ways to make stem cell transplantation safer, easier, and more effective are also being studied.

Palliative care– Clinical trials are going on to find more acceptable ways of lessening symptoms and side effects of current cancer treatments to improve comfort and quality of life during treatment.

References

  1. 1.
    Roussel X, Daguindau E, Berceanu A, et al. Acute Myeloid Leukemia: From Biology to Clinical Practices Through Development and Pre-Clinical Therapeutics. Front Oncol. Published online December 9, 2020. doi:10.3389/fonc.2020.599933
  2. 2.
    Kadia TM, Ravandi F, Cortes J, Kantarjian H. New drugs in acute myeloid leukemia. Annals of Oncology. Published online May 2016:770-778. doi:10.1093/annonc/mdw015
  3. 3.
    Yu J, Jiang PYZ, Sun H, et al. Advances in targeted therapy for acute myeloid leukemia. Biomark Res. Published online May 20, 2020. doi:10.1186/s40364-020-00196-2