Medline: 1730080

Blood 79(2): 313-319, 1992.

Cytarabine plus idarubicin or daunorubicin as induction and consolidation therapy for previously untreated adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

Wiernik PH, Banks PL, Case DC, et al.


The purpose of this study was to determine the relative merits of idarubicin and daunorubicin in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) therapy. Thirty-two sites provided 214 previously untreated adults with AML aged 15 years or more who were randomized to receive for induction therapy cytarabine 100 mg/m2/d as a continuous 7-day infusion plus either daunorubicin 45 mg/m2/d (A + D) or idarubicin 13 mg/m2/d (A + I), daily on the first three days of treatment. Postremission therapy consisted of two courses of the induction regimen at the same daily doses, with the anthracycline administered for 2 days and cytarabine for 5. The complete response (CR) rates for evaluable patients were 70% (A + I) and 59% (A + D) (P = .08). The difference in CR rates was significant in patients aged 18 to 50 years (88% for A + I, 70% for A + D, P = .035). Resistant disease was a significantly more frequent cause of induction therapy failure with A + D than with A + I. Hyperleukocytosis (white blood cell count greater than 50,000/microL) unfavorably affected the attainment of CR with A + D but not with A + I. CR duration was significantly greater after A + I. CR duration was significantly greater after A + I treatment, and the survival of all randomized patients treated with A + I was significantly better than that observed after A + D treatment (median 12.9 months v 8.7 months, respectively, P = .038). Toxicity of the two treatments was similar, although A + I patients experienced more prolonged myelosuppression during consolidation therapy, and a greater incidence of mild chemical hepatitis was observed in the A + I group. It is concluded that, at the doses and schedule used in this study, A + I is superior to A + D for induction therapy of AML in adults.

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