Outpatient Management Following Intensive Induction or Salvage Chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

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Adults with newly diagnosed or relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) commonly receive intensive chemotherapy to achieve disease remission. In the United States and many other countries, it is standard practice that these patients remain hospitalized "preemptively" until blood count recovery, owing to the risk for overwhelming infections and bleeding during pancytopenia. This care policy requires hospitalization for an average of 3 to 4 weeks after completion of chemotherapy. However, highly effective oral prophylactic antimicrobials are now available, and transfusion support of outpatients has become routine in recent years. As a result, the care of patients with hematologic malignancies treated with intensive modalities is increasingly shifting from inpatient to outpatient settings. Benefits of this shift could include the reduced need for medical resources (eg, transfusions or intravenous antimicrobial therapy), improved quality of life (QOL), decreased rates of nosocomial infections, and lower costs. Increasing evidence indicates that select AML patients undergoing intensive remission induction or salvage chemotherapy can be discharged early after completion of chemotherapy and followed closely in a well-equipped outpatient facility in a safe and costeffective manner. Further demonstration that the current approach of preemptive hospitalization is medically unjustified, economically more burdensome, and adversely affects health-related QOL would very likely change the management of these patients throughout this country and elsewhere, resulting in the establishment of a new standard practice that improves cancer care.

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Clinical Advances in Hemotology and Oncology





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