British Journal of Haematology vol:66 issue:1 pages:37-44
Sixty-one patients with AML, 59 adults and two children, were treated with intensive remission induction and consolidation therapy. The median age was 36 years. Forty-four (72%) patients entered complete remission (CR); 11 patients received a bone marrow transplantation. The median survival of complete remitters was 26.5 months; the probability of remaining in CR at respectively 1 and 2 years was 75% and 62%. The only factor significantly correlated with the outcome of remission induction, survival and duration of CR was age. Patients less than 30 years fared significantly better than those 30 years or older; no difference in outcome was observed between patients aged 30-50 and those over 50 years. In patients less than 30 years the CR rate was 95%; 75% of them were still alive at 2 years and only one (5%) has relapsed. In contrast, in patients 30 years or older the CR rate was 60% and the median survival only 11.5 months, 50% of the complete remitters in this age group have relapsed. Morbidity from intensive consolidation therapy was considerable; more than 50% of consolidation courses were complicated by high fever, needing urgent admission; only four (3%) courses had a fatal event. It is concluded that intensive consolidation therapy may be considered as a major advance in the treatment of younger patients with AML, while its role in older individuals remains questionable. A possible explanation for the completely different outcome in younger and older patients with AML is discussed.