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Influx of Novel Agents in AML Leads to Role for Up-front Molecular Testing

Jessica Hergert
Published: Tuesday, Dec 24, 2019

William G. Blum, MD, a professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine

William G. Blum, MD

A string of recent approvals in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has not only altered the treatment paradigm, but it has also underscored the need to conduct molecular testing upon diagnosis to guide therapy decisions, said William G. Blum, MD.

“Eight drugs have been approved in the past 2 years,” said Blum, a professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. “That is 8 more than there had been in the past 30 years. It is important to understand the mutations of a particular patient’s leukemia so that we can best capitalize on available treatment options.”

For example, the FLT3 inhibitor gilteritinib (Xospata) was FDA approved in November 2018 for patients with FLT3- mutated relapsed/refractory AML, based on an interim analysis of the phase III ADMIRAL study. Earlier results showed a rate of complete remission (CR) or CR with partial hematologic recovery of 21% (95% CI, 14.5-28.8) after a median follow-up of 4.6 months.1

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