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Cancer patient
receiving treatment
Photo by Rhoda Baer

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has released guidelines for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

The guidelines are intended to help patients make better informed decision about their care.

The guidelines explain what AML is, describe testing procedures and treatment options, and provide tips to help patients choose the best treatment.

The guidelines also include a list of suggested questions for patients to bring up with their doctors, illustrations, and a glossary of key terms and acronyms.

“People with AML often aren’t aware that this isn’t a single disease but many different diseases that share fundamental characteristics,” said Martin Tallman, MD, a hematologic oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York, and vice-chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for AML.

“The good news is that the future for AML is getting a lot brighter. After 40 years without much progress, 4 new medications were just approved last year*, and more new treatment courses are in development as we speak.”

The guidelines are available for free on the NCCN website or via the NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer app. Printed versions of the guidelines can be purchased at Amazon.com.

NCCN also has guidelines for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, myeloproliferative neoplasms, non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, as well as solid tumor malignancies.

There are patient guidelines for adolescents and young adults with cancer and guidelines on distress/supportive care, and nausea and vomiting/supportive care as well.

*(1) Midostaurin (Rydapt) was approved for adults with newly diagnosed, FLT3-positive AML
(2) Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg) was approved for adults with newly diagnosed AML and patients age 2 and older with relapsed/refractory AML
(3) Liposomal daunorubicin/cytarabine (Vyxeos) was approved for AML with myelodysplasia-related changes and newly diagnosed, therapy-related AML
(4) Enasidenib (Idhifa) was approved for adults with relapsed/refractory AML and an IDH2 mutation.


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