Prospective comparative study of bone marrow transplantation and postremission chemotherapy for childhood acute myelogenous leukemia

S. Amadori, A. M. Testi, M. Arico, A. Comelli, M. Giuliano, E. Madon, G. Masera, R. Rondelli, L. Zanesco, F. Mandelli, M. L. Massimo, S. Severi, D. Rosati, G. Schiliro, F. Schettini, G. Paolucci, S. Cutillo, A. Ugazio, P. Tamaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study was conducted to assess the comparative values of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) with sequential postremission chemotherapy (SPC) in children with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in first remission. Patients and Methods: From March 1987 to March 1990, 161 assessable patients younger than 15 years of age with newly diagnosed AML were treated uniformly with two courses of daunorubicin and standard-dose cytarabine. After initial consolidation with a course of daunorubicin, cytarabine, and thioguanine (DAT), patients in complete remission (CR) were randomized to receive either ABMT or SPC, except for those with an HLA-matched sibling who were assigned to undergo BMT. SPC consisted of three additional courses of DAT, followed by three pairs of drugs administered sequentially for a total of six cycles. Results: Overall, 127 of 161 patients attained CR (79%). The estimated probabilities of survival and event-free survival (EFS) at 5 years for all patients were 42% and 25%, respectively (median follow-up, 28 months). For the 127 complete responders, the 5-year probability of disease-free survival (DFS) was 31%, with a cumulative risk of relapse of 64%. For the purpose of this study, all complete responders were evaluated for analysis of disease outcome according to the intent-to-treat principle, regardless of whether they actually received the intended therapy. The 5-year DFS was 51% for the BMT group (n = 24), significantly higher (P = .03) than that observed for the other cohorts: 21% for ABMT (n = 35), 27% for SPC (n = 37), and 34% for a group of 31 nonrandomized (NR) patients. Bone marrow relapse was the most frequent cause of postremission failure in all therapeutic subgroups, including the BMT cohort, in which no deaths attributable to the toxicity of the procedure were recorded. Conclusion: The results of this study show that BMT is more effective than ABMT or SPC in preventing leukemia relapse and extending DFS duration in children with AML in first remission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1054
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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