Intensive treatment and trial participation in elderly acute myeloid leukemia patients: A population-based analysis in The Netherlands
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Background: The paucity of population-based research indicates that the application of intensive chemotherapy (ICT) among elderly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, as well as their accrual to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) remains low for several decades. Therefore, a contemporary, comprehensive apprehension on patient-, disease-, and treatment-specific characteristics of elderly AML patients at the population level can inform treatment choices and facilitate increased patient accrual in upcoming RCTs. Objectives: In this population-based study, we investigated patient- and disease-specific characteristics in elderly AML patients, and their association with treatment and survival. Methods: We retrospectively obtained data on all over 65-year-old AML patients diagnosed between 2010–2013 in the referral area of two university hospitals in the Netherlands. Multivariable analyses were performed to assess factors associated with treatment choice and overall survival. Results: Of all 356 patients, 77% received non-intensive therapy (NIT), and 15% and 8% received ICT within and outside a RCT, respectively. Cytogenetic (74%) and molecular (93%) analyses were not performed in most NIT recipients. Age and comorbidity were independently associated with NIT, whereas only comorbidity was associated with decreased trial participation. The adjusted risk of mortality among ICT recipients was not influenced by trial participation status. Conclusion: The application of ICT and accrual to RCTs remains staggeringly low in an elderly AML population. Since survival of ICT-treated patients was not affected by trial participation status, exclusion criteria might be relaxed in upcoming RCTs. Furthermore, appropriate management strategies can be accomplished by comprehensive comorbidity assessment and augmented genetic prognostication.