Several trials have suggested that intensive post-remission therapy may prolong the duration of complete remission (CR) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and the efficacy of high-dose cytarabine (HiDAC) consolidation chemotherapy followed by high-dose therapy and autologous infusion of peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) mobilized by G-CSF in adult patients with AML in first CR. Fifteen consecutive AML patients underwent HiDAC consolidation chemotherapy, used as a method of in vivo purging, followed by G-CSF for the purpose of autologous PBPC collection. Eleven patients collected a median of 6.9×10 8/kg peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNC) (range 2.9-23) and a median of 6.67×10 6/kg CD34+ cells (range 1.8-33.5) with a median of two aphereses (range 1-3). Two patients did not mobilize and two obtained an inadequate number of progenitor cells. The 11 patients with adequate collections received myeloablative chemotherapy followed by the infusion of PBPC. The median number of days to recover neutrophils and platelets was 12 and 13, respectively. After a median follow-up of 28.7 months (range 17.2-43.4), five out of 11 patients who underwent PBPC transplantation are still in CR, five have died in first relapse and one is alive in CR after relapse treated with salvage therapy and second PBPC infusion. These results demonstrate that HiDAC consolidation chemotherapy followed by autologous PBPC transplantation is a feasible procedure with minimal toxicity. Randomized studies should be performed to evaluate whether this form of consolidation may produce a significant improvement in leukemia-free survival.
- Autologous transplantation
- Peripheral blood progenitor cells
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