Complete remission and long-term survival rates are low for older adults treated for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Because of favorable phase 2 data using mitoxantrone and etoposide, we conducted a phase 3 study (SWOG-9333) in which patients over 55 years of age with previously untreated AML were randomized to receive mitoxantrone (10 mg/m2 per day x 5) and etoposide (100 mg/m2 per day x 5) [ME], or cytarabine (200 mg/m2 per day x 7) and daunorubicin (45 mg/m2 per day x 3) [AD] as induction therapy. The randomization was stratified by age, onset of leukemia, and multidrug resistance phenotype. Over a 4-year period, 328 eligible patients from 66 institutions were enrolled. The complete remission rate was 34% (95% confidence interval [Cl] 26%-41%) for patients in the ME and 43% (Cl 35%-51%) for patients in the AD treatment arm (one-tailed P value .96). The rates of resistant disease were 43% (Cl 35%-51%) and 34% (Cl 27%-42%), respectively, for the 2 treatment arms (one-tailed P value .95). The estimated overall survival at 2 years was 11% (Cl 6%-15%) and 19% (Cl 12%-25%) for patients randomized to ME and to AD induction therapy, respectively (one-tailed P value .99). After accounting for the independent prognostic factors associated with survival (karyotype, performance status, age, white blood cell count), exploratory analysis suggested there was a worse survival for patients who received ME compared with AD induction therapy (2-tailed P value .0066). We conclude that the results of our study do not demonstrate any benefit to the use of ME induction chemotherapy instead of AD in older patients with AML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology