One hundred and five consecutive primary high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or secondary acute myeloid leukaemia (sAML) evolving from MDS (performance status 0-3, ECOG) entered this study. Induction chemotherapy (CT) consisted of idarubicine 12 mg/m2 i.v. on days 1 and 2, etoposide 60 mg/m2/12 h i.v. for 5 d, Ara-C 120 mR/m2/12 h i.v. for 5d (one or two courses). Patients were randomized to receive or not G-CSF (5 μg/kg/d subcutaneously 48 h after the end of CT). 52 cases underwent CT alone and 53 CT+G-CSF. The CT+G-CSF patients had a significantly shorter duration of neutropenia (8 v 16 d) with a lower incidence of infections and significantly better responses (CR+PR: 74% v 52%, P2 every 12 h for 3 d). Most CRs were clonal. At present 21 responders have relapsed (median relapse-free survival 4.5 months). Eight responders received an allo-BMT, six are alive in CR 7-57 months post-transplant. Therefore allo-BMT only increases the chance of a long survival and possible cure. In conclusion, CT+G-CSF did not prolong either CR duration or survival; the growth factor support, however, increased the number of allo-transplantable cases by inducing higher remission rates and improving clinical conditions.
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