Based on prior genomic studies, “PEDIATRIC” AML = ages 0-35. Most current research focuses on AML in seniors. However, studies focused in children can benefit a wide age range.
“Pediatric” or childhood AML patients are generally thought to include only infants, children, and teenagers. However, genomic studies of AML patients across all ages have revealed that patients 0 to approximately 35 years share more similarities in their disease makeup, and should receive similar treatment. Their AML differs significantly from the disease in older adults (so targets will differ). Targeted drugs approved for seniors may do little to help childhood leukemia patients – so, read announcements of “new drugs for AML” carefully. One example is the recent FDA-approval of a new AML drug targeting the IDH2 mutation. Unfortunately, few young people express this mutation – it’s seem mostly in older adults.
Research focused on young AML patients is sorely needed because most AML discovery and drug trials are focused on seniors. Also, some of the greatest discoveries in cancer treatment – like chemotherapy and CAR T-cells – were pioneered IN CHILDREN.
So, “pediatric AML” really includes patients 0 to approximately 35 years of age. Discoveries made in pediatric AML can benefit a wide age range. And, pioneering personalized, precision medicine in young AML patients can fuel advances for patients of all ages battling many different types of cancers.