Dr. Yang on the Future of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Jay Yang, MD

Jay Yang, MD, oncologist, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, discusses the future of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

There are a few drugs that may be nearing regulatory approval, notes Yang, one of which is venetoclax (Venclexta). The BCL-2 inhibitor has shown some activity in relapsed/refractory AML as a single-agent, though it has shown the most promise in newly diagnosed, treatment-naive patients, says Yang. The combination of venetoclax with either low-dose cytarabine or hypomethylating agents has been very impressive and may be one of the biggest developments in the past year.

The other drug that may reach the clinic is quizartinib. Quizartinib is a second generation FLT3 inhibitor that is much more potent against FLT3 ITD-mutated AML. In the relapsed/refractory setting, there are now data that have recently been presented showing that it is better than standard of care chemotherapy. Statistically speaking, it showed an improvement in overall survival, though Yang says some would say the results are a little bit modest. For this reason, it may be approved.
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