Amy Burd, PhD discussed the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)-led Beat AML trial, which was designed to assess whether a multi-center clinical trial could use genetic profiling to assign patients to molecularly defined, subtype-specific therapies within 7 days, and to delineate the role of new therapies in the first-line treatment of AML, with the goal of improving outcomes in older patients with AML through the use of mechanism based novel therapies.
This study investigated the feasible for doctors to determine which molecular subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) a patient has before beginning treatment and to use this information to pick an approach that best matches the individual. The results of this study confirm that using patient-specific information to guide treatment decisions, an approach known as precision medicine, is possible even for patients with blood cancers that must be treated urgently.
AML is a rapidly progressing cancer, which is why treatment is usually started on the day of diagnosis. Physicians have been reluctant to wait the two to three weeks that it typically takes for genomic analysis. Delaying induction chemotherapy until molecular testing results return, may benefit some patients but can harm others. This leaves doctors with little time to learn which AML subtype the patient has, so in current practice, all patients are given the same treatment regimen.
In this study, researchers demonstrate the ability to determine AML subtype based on genetic analysis of blood samples in seven days or less. The findings suggest rapid genetic screening could soon be an integral part of AML diagnostics, helping doctors match each patient with the therapy best suited for his or her specific disease.
Initial Report of the Beat AML Umbrella Study for Previously Untreated AML: Evidence of Feasibility and Early Success in Molecularly Driven Phase 1 and 2 Studies