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Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in older adults carries a poor prognosis, and the optimum treatment remains to be determined. In younger patients, treatment stratification is frequently based upon diagnostic karyotype, which was the most important prognostic factor in the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) AML10 trial. Considered here is whether karyotype is also predictive in older adults; this is done by studying 1065 cases from MRC AML11 (median age, 66 years). Three prognostic groups were distinguished on the basis of response to induction therapy and overall survival (OS). Those with t(15;17), t(8;21), or inv(16) composed the favorable risk group. Overall, these abnormalities predicted a superior complete remission (CR) rate (72%), reflecting relatively low levels of resistant disease (RD) (8%), and lower relapse risk (RR) (56%) associated with superior OS (34% at 5 years). Normal karyotype (CR, 63%; RD, 17%; RR, 78%; OS, 15%) and other noncomplex abnormalities (CR, 53%; RD, 32%; RR, 85%; OS, 10%) composed the intermediate group; while complex karyotype predicted an extremely poor prognosis (CR, 26%; RD, 56%; RR, 91%; OS, 2%). Combining MRC AML10 and AML11 (n = 2677) revealed that the most favorable changes were rarer in older patients (younger than 55 years, 24%; 55 years or older, 7%), while complex abnormalities were more common (6% vs 13%). This study suggests that hierarchical cytogenetic classification identifies biologically distinct subsets of AML that are represented in all age groups. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of karyotype as a critical independent determinant of outcome in older patients with AML, providing a potential framework for stratified treatment approaches.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Blood

Publication Date

01/09/2001

Volume

98

Pages

1312 - 1320

Keywords

Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Chromosome Aberrations, Cyclophosphamide, Cytarabine, Daunorubicin, Disease-Free Survival, Drug Administration Schedule, Etoposide, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor, Humans, Immunologic Factors, Interferon-alpha, Karyotyping, Leukemia, Myeloid, Life Tables, Male, Middle Aged, Predictive Value of Tests, Prednisone, Prognosis, Recombinant Proteins, Remission Induction, Survival Analysis, Thioguanine, Treatment Outcome, United Kingdom, Vincristine