Science Stories

Changing AML Treatment Landscape

An Important Identifier in a Changing AML Landscape

We focus on developing life-changing medicines that can redefine the possibilities for life after a cancer diagnosis. And we are helping to do just that for people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

AML is an aggressive blood cancer that can quickly become life-threatening if left untreated.1 AML is not a one-size-fits-all diagnosis. There are multiple sub-types of AML that are important to identify and understand so that patients and their health care professionals have a clearer picture of why the disease occurred and what treatment options might be appropriate.

For example, secondary AML is a high-risk AML and includes therapy-related AML (t-AML), a result of prior treatment with chemotherapy or radiation, and AML with myelodysplasia-related changes (AML-MRC), which evolves from prior blood disorders.2 Approximately one-third of all AML cases are diagnosed as either t-AML or AML-MRC.3-4 Sadly, patients with t-AML or AML-MRC have few treatment options and some of the lowest survival rates compared to people with other forms of leukemia.5-6

But—and here is the good news—the treatment landscape for secondary AML is evolving rapidly as a number of new medicines have entered the market in the United States and the European Union, where previously there were limited treatment options.

Today, early identification of secondary AML, in particular t-AML or AML-MRC, can be key to getting patients the appropriate treatment.7 A medical history and physical examination provide a physician with detailed information about symptoms, risk factors and signs of infection. Cells from the blood and bone marrow are taken and reviewed to detect further abnormalities. This is done using blood taken from a patient’s arm and bone marrow from the hip bone.8

Not only is Jazz working to understand the science behind secondary AML through ongoing research, sponsoring research and contributing to disease education, we are also proud to have brought the first new chemotherapy option to people with secondary AML in nearly 40 years. As a core therapeutic area at Jazz, we are committed to advancing the science and supporting the hematology/oncology community.


1. National Cancer Institute. General Information About Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia https://www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/patient/adult-aml-treatment-pdq Accessed July 23, 2018.
2. Lindsley R. et al., Blood, 2015.
3. Nagel G, Weber D, Fromm E, et al; German Austrian AML Study Group (AMLSG). Epidemiological, genetic, and clinical characterization by age of newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia based on an academic population-based registry study (AMLSG BiO). Ann Hematol. 2017;96(12):1993-2003.
4. Leone G, Mele L, Pulsoni A, et al. The incidence of secondary leukemias. Haematologica. 1999;84(10):937-945.
5. Pinto AC, et al. Current Cancer Treatment – Novel Beyond Conventional Approaches. 2011; 693-714.
6. Smith SM, et al. Blood. 2003; 102(1):43-52.
7. Granfeldt Østgård LS, Medeiros BC, Sengeløv H, et al. Epidemiology and clinical significance of secondary and therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia: a national population-based cohort study. Clin Oncol. 2015;33(31):3641-3649.
8.American Cancer Society. How is Acute Myeloid Leukemia Diagnosed? https://www.cancer.org/cancer/acute-myeloid-leukemia/detection-diagnosis-staging/how-diagnosed.html. Accessed May 19, 2017.