The 11 Faces of AML
Classifying AML by genetic abnormalities may yield more accurate diagnosis, prognosis and treatment
Michael Schubert |
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a disease of many faces. At the moment, the two main classification schemes are the French-American-British (FAB), which separates disease according to cell type and maturity, and the World Health Organization (WHO), which incorporates past disease history and specific chromosomal translocations (1). But the more we learn about AML, the more we recognize that genetic changes inform not only the patient’s initial prognosis, but also disease evolution and response to treatment. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine provides a detailed genetic analysis of patients in three prospective multicenter clinical trials, revealing that AML can be divided into a number of subgroups based on genomic changes and complex gene interactions (2).
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