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FLT3 Inhibitors Impact Treatment Landscape for Patients With FLT3-Mutated AML

Gail Roboz, MD
Published Online:5:38 PM, Wed September 18, 2019

Gail Roboz, MD, a professor of medicine and director of the Clinical and Translational Leukemia Program at Weill Cornell Medicine NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, discusses the use of FLT3 inhibitors as treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which can be a heterogenous and difficult-to-treat disease. There is a lot of optimism for new drugs and targets in AML, but the disease itself remains tough to treat, according to Roboz.

For patients with a FLT3-ITD mutation, the disease biology is very aggressive, so the application of FLT3 inhibitors, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy, has been very important. Researchers are continuing their efforts to find the most potent and effective FLT3 inhibitor for patients with AML harboring a FLT3-ITD or -TKD mutation. However, since many patients will have had a prior exposure to a FLT3 inhibitor of some kind, Roboz notes that they may still have a FLT3 mutation present after relapse and will require another FLT3 inhibitor.

Roboz compares the evolving paradigm to that of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), in which multiple tyrosine kinase inhibitors are available. When selecting FLT3 inhibitors for patients with AML, doctors should consider the toxicity profile of the drug, the patient needs, and the nature of their prior treatments. She concludes that when multiple drugs are available, such as in CML, doctors may find that some patients benefit more from 1 agent over another.
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