The prognosis for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is determined to a large degree by the biology of the leukemic cell. In recent years, the identification and characterization of genetic aberrations has vastly improved our understanding of the pathogenesis of AML. In contrast, however, there has been a lack of clinically meaningful therapeutic advances. The same chemotherapeutic strategies have been applied to AML for several decades now, and while these regimens are effective in inducing remission, most patients relapse within months after initial treatment. Hence, there is an urgent need for novel therapies. We review herein a number of lines of laboratory and clinical trial data supporting the clinical value of targeted treatment approaches that will likely result in improved outcomes for patients with AML.