With the excitement surrounding novel therapeutics, reliable conventional treatments can often be overlooked. The optimization of standard treatments is a promising area of research, which was discussed in reference to entire spectrum of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) at the 1st International Workshop on Acute Leukemias (iwAL), held in St. Pete Beach, FL. Following this interesting session, the experts got together to discuss the presentation, with Wolfgang Hiddemann, MD, PhD, of Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany, chairing the group in their discussion. He was joined by Laura Cicconi, MD, of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy, Klaus Metzeler, MD, of LMU-University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany, and Alan Burnett, MD, FRCP, of Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. The group cover updates in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), addressing the question of where can research go now, covering arsenic trioxide, ATRA and beyond. They next turn to the treatment landscape for AML with adverse cytogenetic features an increasingly large group. With the ever-increasing efficacy of induction treatment, post-remission therapy is a growing area, which the experts then turn their thoughts to. This discussion was recorded at iwAL 2018.