We prospectively compared outcomes of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) versus high-dose cytarabine (HiDAC) consolidation as post-remission therapy for favorable- and intermediate-risk acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in first complete remission (CR1). Two-hundred-forty patients under 65 years with AML-M1, M2, M4, or M5 subtypes were enrolled. After induction, 153 patients did not undergo randomization, while the remaining 87 who achieved CR1 were prospectively randomized to HiDAC (n = 45) or ASCT arm (n = 42). In the HiDAC arm, 43 patients completed three cycles of HiDAC, whereas in ASCT arm 22 patients completed two cycles of consolidation consisting of intermediate-dose cytarabine plus mitoxantrone or etoposide followed by ASCT. The three-year disease-free survival (DFS) rate was 41% in HiDAC and 55% in ASCT arm (p = 0.25). Three-year overall survival (OS) rates were 77 and 68% (p = 0.67). Incidence of relapse was 54 and 41% (p = 0.22). There was no significant difference in nonrelapse mortality between two arms (p = 0.88). Patients in the ASCT arm tended to have higher DFS rates and lower relapse rates than patients in HiDAC; however, there was no significant improvement in OS in patients with favorable- and intermediate-risk AML in CR1. Patients with AML are not benefited by the intensified chemotherapy represented by ASCT.
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