The current study was approached with the assumption that response to induction chemotherapy, in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), overshadows pre-treatment risk variables in predicting survival and therefore be used as an anchor for a simplified risk model. We considered 759 intensively-treated patients with AML, not promyelocytic: median age 60 years; primary 66%, secondary 25%, and therapy-related 9%; European LeukemiaNet cytogenetic risk category favorable 8%, intermediate 61%, and adverse 31%. Complete remission with (CR) or without (CRi) count recovery was achieved in 608 (80%) patients. After a median follow-up of 22 months, 503 deaths, 272 relapses, and 257 allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants (AHSCTs) were recorded. Multivariable analysis identified failure to achieve CR/CRi (HR 3.8, 95% CI 3.1–4.8), adverse karyotype (2.2, 1.8–2.8), and age >55 years (2.1, 1.6–2.7) as main risk factors for survival. HR-weighted scoring resulted in four-tiered risk stratification: low (0 points; N = 183), intermediate-1 (1 point; N = 331), intermediate-2 (2 points; N = 117), and high (≥3 points; N = 128), with respective median survival (5-year rate) not reached (68%), 34 (37%), 13 (20%), and 5 (5%) months (p <.001). FLT3-ITD mutation was associated with inferior survival in intermediate-1 (p =.004) and TP53 in intermediate-2 (p =.06) and high (p =.02) risk disease; the latter was fully accounted for by the close association between TP53 mutation and complex/monosomal karyotype while the observations regarding FLT3-ITD were not affected by treatment with midostaurin. AHSCT had a favorable impact on survival, most apparent in intermediate-1 (p <.001), intermediate-2 (p =.03), and high (p =.01) risk disease. The proposed 3-factor survival model offers a novel prototype that is amenable to further enhancement by molecular information and was validated in an external cohort of 1032 intensively-treated AML patients.
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