Advances in acute myeloid leukemia


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an uncommon but potentially catastrophic diagnosis with historically high mortality rates. The standard of care treatment remained unchanged for decades; however, recent discoveries of molecular drivers of leukemogenesis and disease progression have led to novel therapies for AML. Ongoing research and clinical trials are actively seeking to personalize therapy by identifying molecular targets, discovering patient specific and disease specific risk factors, and identifying effective combinations of modalities and drugs. This review focuses on important updates in diagnostic and disease classifications that reflect new understanding of the biology of AML, its mutational heterogeneity, some important genetic and environmental risk factors, and new treatment options including cytotoxic chemotherapy, novel targeted agents, and cellular therapies.


  • Series explanation: State of the Art Reviews are commissioned on the basis of their relevance to academics and specialists in the US and internationally. For this reason they are written predominantly by US authors

  • Contributors: LFN and RJC developed the outline for this manuscript, did the literature review, and wrote all sections of the manuscript.

  • Funding: LFN is supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1K23 HD091369-01).

  • Competing interests: We have read and understood the BMJ policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: none.

  • Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient involvement: No patients were involved in the creation of this article.

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