Experts at ASH 2022 Share Global Data on Acute Myeloid Leukemia

"Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains the most deadly disease among adults, with a five year overall survival of less than 30%," lead investigator Dr. Molly Tokaz says in an interview.

Lead investigator for research presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition, Molly Tokaz, MD, Senior Research Fellow, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, and her team, including Lisa Force, MD, MPH, Pediatric Oncologist, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Team Lead, Global Burden of Disease Study, Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation.

In an interview with HCPLive, Tokaz and Force shared expert insight on their investigation and why this worldwide perspective is crucial to progression of oncology research and treatment.

"There's a mounting global cancer crisis," Tokaz explained. "By 2040, new cancer diagnoses are expected to double, and regions dominated by low-income countrieswhich are the region's least equipped to deal with this pending cancer epidemic, and by 2040, estimates are that there'll be over 18 million deaths from cancer worldwide."

The team performed and global analysis on the utilization of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML is a rare disease, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow with increasingly fatal complications the longer it persists undiagosed.

In most cases, HSCT is the best option for a cure, and investigators aimed to evaluate how utilization and inequities of this treatment differed on a global scale. According to Tokaz, the availability of this transplant determines the potential for patient outcomes around the world.

AML remains the most deadly disease among adults, with a five year overall survival of less than 30%.

As someone involved with understanding the global burden of diseases, Force acknowledged how difficult it is to capture a global perspective, even with one form of cancer.

"Cancer registries, valid registration systems, surveillance systems that capture data for who exists around the world with cancer, don't exist everywhere, but we know that people unfortunately do develop AML everywhere, even if they're not captured in a data system like this," Force shared.

This study was able to implement 2 different data sources, the Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (WBMT) and the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study to gain the best perspective on global acute myeloid leukemia.

Tokaz elaborated on the efforts of the WBMT and how pivotal they were for gathering data for the study, but also how crucial they are for the progression of developments for AML.