IntroductionPatients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), especially those with relapsed or refractory AML, have poor clinical prognosis and outcomes. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) assessments have become increasingly important in oncology, aiding in identifying and informing supportive therapy needs during treatment and beyond; however, HRQoL in hematology, and AML in particular, has received relatively minor attention. The aim was to identify and summarize estimates of HRQoL in patients with AML, including patients with relapsed or refractory AML.MethodsA systematic literature review was performed. MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for peer-reviewed literature published between 2004 and 2014 in the US and Europe. Abstracts from four relevant conference proceedings between 2012 and 2014 were reviewed. Data from eligible studies were extracted describing the HRQoL instruments used, domains assessed, and HRQoL scores reported.ResultsFourteen peer-reviewed studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in the review. Cancer- or leukemia-specific HRQoL measures were used in 78.6% of the studies. Overall, HRQoL was superior among AML survivors compared to individuals on active treatment. Fatigue was identified as the most problematic symptom domain in patients, irrespective of their treatment status. Reported HRQoL declined shortly after diagnosis or treatment initiation and recovered over time.ConclusionThe included studies identified a decrease in HRQoL after treatment initiation and highlighted the role of fatigue in HRQoL in this patient population. Limited HRQoL data were identified among relapsed or refractory AML patients although they have worse prognostic outcomes. New treatment options that have less negative impact on HRQoL or health initiatives specifically targeting HRQoL of patients with AML are warranted. In addition, further studies exploring HRQoL in the relapsed or refractory patient population are needed to inform disease management and treatment decisions.