Finding a Match for AML Therapy: How Are Genetic Test Results Used?

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Topics include: Treatments

Sophisticated testing can reveal the driver mutations behind a person’s acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Can AML therapy then be tailored to a patient’s genetic profile? Which mutations can be targeted with treatment? Noted AML expert Dr. Uma Borate, from Oregon Health & Science University, discusses what mutations doctors test for in AML patients, goals of care and how treatment strategy changes depending on mutational status. Watch now to learn more.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program in partnership with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society produced by Patient Power. We thank Celgene, Daiichi Sankyo, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Novartis for their support. These organizations have no editorial control. It is produced solely by Patient Power.

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

So just to back up a little bit, once we get back this genetic testing and we know their mutations and like you said IDH1, IDH2, FLT3, these are all mutations that can be targeted, we also determine a little bit??and this can be somewhat arbitrary but is determined more by the patient, their age, their ability to, you know, how able are they to do their day?to day activities?  Are they somebody who really is not even able to go to the grocery store without being really tired?  We call it, for lack of a better word, performance status.  How do they do in their everyday life?  

So we take all these factors to consider two broad categories:  Is the patient what we call fit versus, and I know this is not the kindest word, we call it unfit.  And I think those broad categories then lead us to what type of therapy should the patient get.  Should they get what we call intensive induction, meaning we still give them very broad chemotherapy to kill all the leukemia, but now we're adding targeted therapy to the chemotherapy so that you give this double?whammy?  You knock them with chemo, and you knock it also with the targeted therapy.  

However, if you happen to be 85 and you're a very functional 85, maybe, but you're not somebody whose organs can tolerate this heavy intensive chemotherapy or a transplant in the future, then we go with what we call more therapy that's what we call less intense even though it might be IV, but then we add these targeted agents which they can take at home as a pill and then they're not in the hospital as much. They get this therapy as an outpatient while they're getting treatment for their AML.  So it's very different based on our goals of care, the patient in front of us and what mutations they have.  

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on August 21, 2019