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Ann Hematol. 2004 Aug;83(8):498-503. Epub 2004 May 20.

Intensive chemotherapy with idarubicin, cytarabine, etoposide, and G-CSF priming in patients with advanced myelodysplastic syndrome and high-risk acute myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Hematology/Oncology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Hospital, University of Frankfurt/Main, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.


In an attempt to improve the complete remission (CR) rates and to prolong the remission duration especially in elderly patients > 50 years of age, we have used a combination chemotherapy of idarubicin (10 mg/m2 IV x 3 days), cytarabine (AraC, 100 mg/m2 CIVI x 7d), and etoposide (100 mg/m2 x 5 days) in combination with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) priming [5 mg/kg SQ day 1 until absolute neutrophil count (ANC) recovery] for remission induction. Responding patients received two consolidation courses of idarubicin, AraC, and etoposide, followed by a late consolidation course of intermediate-dose AraC (600 mg/m2 IV every 12 h x 5 days) and amsacrine (60 mg/m2 IV x 5 days). A total of 112 patients (57 male/55 female) with a median age of 58 years (range: 22-75) have been entered and are evaluable for response: 19 refractory anemia with excess of blast cells in transformation (RAEB-T), 84 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) evolving from myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and 9 secondary AML after chemotherapy/radiotherapy. The overall CR rate was 62%, partial remission (PR) rate 10%, treatment failure 16%, and early death rate 12%. The CR rate was higher in patients < or = 60 years (68 vs 55%), mainly due to a lower early death rate (5 vs 21%, p<0.001). After a median follow-up of 58 months, the median overall survival is 14.5% and median duration of relapse-free survival 8 months. After 60 months, the probability of CR patients to still be in CR and alive is 16% (20% in patients < or = 60 years and 13% in patients >60 years), while the probability of overall survival is 12% (15% in patients < or = 60 years and 9% in patients > 60 years). Compared to our previous trial (AML-MDS Study 01-92) which was done with identical chemotherapy but no G-CSF priming in 110 patients with RAEB-T, AML after MDS, or secondary AML (identical median age, age range, and distribution of subtypes), the CR rate in all patients, as well as CR rate, overall survival, and relapse-free survival in patients > 60 years have significantly been improved. Thus, intensive chemotherapy with G-CSF priming is both well tolerated and highly effective for remission induction in these high-risk patients.

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