Treatment of older patients with AML remains challenging. Although age, performance status, and comorbidities are commonly employed to determine fitness for intensive treatment, several studies have demonstrated improved outcomes with treatment in older and classically unfit patients, highlighting the importance of other disease-related and patient-related factors that have prognostic value for treatment outcome in AML. However, consistent and objective assessments for fitness are lacking. Multi-parameter geriatric assessment tools offer more comprehensive evaluation, but are limited by the required resources and lack of standardization and consensus regarding prognostic value. These assessments are particularly important considering the emerging new AML therapies that represent a spectrum of intensities. Patients should therefore be evaluated holistically for fitness to receive a specific treatment, with the aim of providing individualized care, and such definitions of fitness should also consistently be applied to clinical trials. This review will examine evolving criteria for the determination of fitness among AML patients and discuss treatment options for older and/or unfit patients with AML.
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