Clinical impact of an accurate genetic characterisation of older AML patients

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Published: 13 Dec 2018
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Prof Alessandro Rambaldi - University of Milan, Milan, Italy

Prof Alessandro Rambaldi speaks to ecancer at ASH 2018 about the randomised trial looking into the impact of an accurate genetic characterisation of AML patients over 60 years old.

He explains that this characterisation is particularly important in order to identify the secondary AML and the specific mutations that come with this sub group of patients.

Prof Rambaldi also explains the opportunity to identify the sub group of patients who, despite their advanced age, may benefit from the stem cell transplant.

ecancer's filming has been kindly supported by Amgen through the ecancer Global Foundation. ecancer is editorially independent and there is no influence over content.

We have presented data generated in the context of a randomised clinical trial in which we included also a group of patients older than 60 years of age that are usually not enrolled into front line randomised clinical trials. We have analysed the impact of deep molecular characterisation of these patients, particularly in order to identify the so-called secondary AML that are those AML arising from previous myelodysplastic syndromes or therapy related problems.
The application of this new technology of deep sequencing in order to identify specific mutations associated with this subgroup of patients allowed us to better define the outcome of these patients. We have the opportunity also to identify the subgroup of patients who may benefit despite the advanced age of receiving an allogenic stem cell transplant that nowadays can be offered up to the age of 70 years.

What will be the impact from this?

This is likely to change the common clinical practice by which the patients older than 60 years of age are not often enrolled into treatment with the intent to get a curative purpose. So now we have to look to these older AML patients with a different perspective because we have now new treatment options that can impact remarkably in achieving the remission of the disease and that may offer the possibility to consolidate their response with an allogenic stem cell transplant, so with a curative intent.