Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Advances in Initial Therapy - Episode 5

Future of AML Management

Daniel Pollyea, MD, MS, discusses the unmet needs and future management strategies of acute myeloid leukemia.

Daniel Pollyea, MD, MS: AML [acute myeloid leukemia] is far from a solved problem. It’s a disease defined by unmet needs. We don’t have good therapies for patients with relapsed/refractory disease. We need to be better at recognizing the patients at diagnosis who will respond well to venetoclax-based regimens and to try to predict who won’t, and give them a therapy that could work better. For younger patients who might be good candidates for intensive induction chemotherapy, we also have to work on better approaches, because their outcomes have historically been quite poor. There’s a lot to work on in every clinical aspect of AML.

The good thing about the AML community is that we have lots of brilliant people who work in the clinical and laboratory spaces, and great partnerships with companies that are making drugs. There’s a lot to be excited and hopeful about in the near future for AML. There are some exciting, targeted therapies, some genomically targeted therapies, others for FLT3, and some mechanisms that might have the potential to target the leukemia stem cell population, similar to what we discussed for venetoclax, to make a big impact on this disease. I’m very excited about the near future for drug development in AML.

My hat goes off to community oncologists who are seeing patients with AML. To be able to have the fluency in every type of cancer that you see and treat, and to do that well for patients, is really admirable. If it were me dealing with a disease that I might not commonly see, a crucial thing to do would be to try to have some relationship with someone local or near local who sees a lot of this disease. I can’t imagine having to keep up with all these diseases the way you do. The nuances can be really challenging. Having that partnership, and having that person to call, email, or text when a patient comes in to make sure nothing is being missed in the best interest of that patient is extremely important. We need to make sure we’re all doing the best we can for the patients.

Transcript edited for clarity.