Aim: To identify a category of persons with very low overall survival (OS) rates, whose intensive chemotherapy is unreasonable, amongst the patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with extended forms of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and complex karyotype.
Materials and Methods: OS rates were retrospectively analyzed in 41 patients with AML and 26 with MDS; their median age was 61 years (range 15 to 77 years). Thirty-four (50.7%) patients received standard induction courses; 19 (28.4%) patients had low-intensity therapy. Restraining therapy was used to treat 14 (20.9%) patients. The length of follow-up was 1.5 to 171 months.
Results: Irrespective of the type of disease, the median OS was 6 months. A difference in OS was found when the patients were divided into 4 age groups: those who were under 40 years of age (n = 11 ), 41-60 years (n = 21), 61-69 years (n = 21), and > or = 70 years (n = 14). With age, the median OS decreased from 9.5 to 4 months (p = 0.041). Multivariate analysis revealed that the intensity of induction courses was the cause that affected OS. High comorbidity index and, first of all, cardiovascular diseases were the main reason for discontinuing standard chemotherapy courses in patients aged 70 years or older.
Conclusion: Standard induction courses of cytostatic therapy are not indicated for patients aged > or = 70 years with AML and extended stages of MDS with complex karyotype and high comorbidity index.