The combination of high-dose busulfan (16 mg/kg) and 200 mg/kg cyclophosphamide is gaining increasing significance as a preparative regimen prior to autologous, syngeneic, or allogeneic marrow transplantation. A new regimen of high-dose busulfan in conjunction with a reduced dose of 120 mg/kg cyclophosphamide has recently been described as a preparative regimen prior to allogeneic transplantation. To determine the drug-related nonhematologic toxic effects of this new regimen without confounding factors associated with allogeneic transplantation, we conducted a pilot study using this new regimen in 20 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in first remission prior to autologous unpurged marrow transplantation. All patients experienced transient non-life-threatening acute drug-related toxicity with skin reactions in 20 (100%), nausea and vomiting in 20 (100%), oral mucositis in 18 (90%), hepatic functional impairment in 17 (85%), hemorrhagic cystitis in three (15%), and generalized seizures in two (10%) of these patients, respectively. Two procedural, fatal complications resulted from infectious causes that were not directly related to the speed of hematopoietic reconstitution or the toxicity of the preparative regimen. The 3-year event-free survival estimate (55% +/- 11%) and probability of leukemic recurrence (38% +/- 11%) attained with this new regimen in recipients of autografts in first remission of AML are promising and challenge comparisons with preparative regimens employing combinations of cytotoxic agents or total body irradiation (TBI).

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