JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Therapy-related myeloid leukemia

Lucy A Godley, Richard A Larson
Seminars in Oncology 2008, 35 (4): 418-29
18692692
Therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia (t-MDS/t-AML) are thought to be the direct consequence of mutational events induced by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunosuppressive therapy, or a combination of these modalities, given for a pre-existing condition. The outcomes for these patients have been poor historically compared to people who develop de novo AML. The spectrum of cytogenetic abnormalities in t-AML is similar to de novo AML, but the frequency of unfavorable cytogenetics, such as a complex karyotype or deletion or loss of chromosomes 5 and/or 7, is considerably higher in t-AML. Survival varies according to cytogenetic risk group in t-AML patients, with better outcomes being observed in those with favorable-risk karyotypes. Treatment recommendations should be based on performance status and karyotype. A deeper understanding of the factors that predispose patients to the development of therapy-related myeloid leukemia would help clinicians monitor patients more carefully after treatment for a primary condition. Ultimately, this knowledge could influence initial treatment strategies with the goal of decreasing the incidence of this serious complication.

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