FLT3 inhibitors in acute myeloid leukemia: ten frequently asked questions

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The FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) gene is mutated in approximately one third of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), either by internal tandem duplications (FLT3-ITD), or by a point mutation mainly involving the tyrosine kinase domain (FLT3-TKD). Patients with FLT3-ITD have a high risk of relapse and low cure rates. Several FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibitors have been developed in the last few years with variable kinase inhibitory properties, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity profiles. FLT3 inhibitors are divided into first generation multi-kinase inhibitors (such as sorafenib, lestaurtinib, midostaurin) and next generation inhibitors (such as quizartinib, crenolanib, gilteritinib) based on their potency and specificity of FLT3 inhibition. These diverse FLT3 inhibitors have been evaluated in myriad clinical trials as monotherapy or in combination with conventional chemotherapy or hypomethylating agents and in various settings, including front-line, relapsed or refractory disease, and maintenance therapy after consolidation chemotherapy or allogeneic stem cell transplantation. In this practical question-and-answer-based review, the main issues faced by the leukemia specialists on the use of FLT3 inhibitors in AML are addressed.

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ePub ahead of print