Introduction: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a type of cancer with a very low five-year survival rate (19%), which motivates research into numerous treatment options to improve survivability and remission rates. Here, some common treatments will be briefly discussed to provide a brief foray into AML treatment. As a very general statement, chemotherapy is the most common treatment for this condition. This is a general statement because different malignancies and multi-morbidities can heavily modify treatment options. These options each have their merits and critical differences, which should be discussed. Some significant medications are all-trans retinoic acid, interleukin II, lenalidomide, and colony-stimulating factors. Some targeted therapies would focus on FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 inhibitors, isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 inhibitors, Gemtuzumab ozogamicin, B-cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 inhibitors, and hedgehog pathway inhibitors.
Methods: A literature review was performed to summarize all available research on the different categories and types of therapeutic options for AML. Patients at all stages of AML were considered, including newly diagnosed patients and those with relapsed or drug-resistant disease.
Results: Various treatments had their efficacy listed with information gained from various types of studies. The main "efficacy" focuses were remission rates and survivability over varied time periods (i.e., short-term versus long-term).
Discussion: This literature review provided insight into the current treatments of AML and noted that a direct comparison between every treatment type is not possible. Furthermore, several therapies are undergoing clinical trials in combination with chemotherapy, making it difficult to isolate their independent effects.
Conclusion: Treatment options for AML may be affected by the AML subtype, various prognostic factors, cytogenetics, and the patient's medical history. This review aids in accessibly summarizing essential information about AML and different therapeutic options including drug targets as well as identifying future areas of research.
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