Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Adolescents and Young Adults: Challenging AspectsOfran Y.a, b · Rowe J.M.a-c
aDepartment of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Rambam Health Care Campus, and bBruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, and cDepartment of Hematology, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
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Treating adolescents and young adults (AYAs) diagnosed with cancer is a challenge. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) which is usually diagnosed in a previously healthy kid, requiring immediate aggressive chemotherapy, brings difficulties and conflicts associated with severe illness to extremes. The incidence of AML in adolescents aged 15-19 years approaches 8.5 per million. Only in recent years has it become evident that the prognosis of AYAs diagnosed with AML is poorer compared to younger children diagnosed with AML with similar characteristics. No specific genetic aberration or other known poor risk factor was found to explain the inferior prognosis of AYAs. In acute lymphoblastic leukemia the contribution of differences between adult and pediatric protocols to AYA outcome is established. It has been suggested that pediatric protocols should also apply to AYAs with AML; however, data supporting this are vague. Herein, existing evidence regarding special considerations in treating AYAs with AML is discussed. Mental and psychological age-specific aspects important to consider when treating AYAs with AML are overviewed. Awareness for adolescent special needs, adherence to protocols and intensive supportive care are important. Multidisciplinary adolescent-oriented staff should be involved in the therapy of any AYA with AML escorting this special patient population on the road to cure.
© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel
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