Autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) makes it possible to escalate the dose of cytotoxic treatment to a lethal range. Disease- free survival (DFS) following myeloablative therapy and ABMT has been shown to be superior to conventional treatment in high risk patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). It was the purpose of the present study to compare hematopoietic reconstitution, actuarial DFS, and relapse rate of patients transplanted in first complete remission (CR) of AML with those in second or subsequent CR, and to evaluate transplant related mortality. Fifty-two patients with AML, 22 in first CR (low risk) and 30 in second or subsequent CR (high risk), underwent total body irradiation (12.1 to 16.7 Gy) and cyclophosphamide (CY) treatment (200 mg/kg) followed by ABMT. The autograft was incubated with the active CY derivative Mafosfamide (ASTA Werke, Bielefeld, Federal Republic of Germany) to reduce the number of possibly contaminating clonogenic tumor cells. All patients showed three lineage engraftments with platelet recovery observed as being the slowest. The transplant related death rate was low at 5.8%. There was no significant difference in the kinetics of polymorphonuclear (PMN) cell or platelet reconstitution between the low and high risk patient subgroups. The estimated probability of DFS (relapse) after ABMT in first CR was 61% (36%) compared with 34% (65%) in second or subsequent CR, the longest follow-up being 55 months and 57 months, respectively (median follow-up 31 months and 19 months, respectively). ABMT offers a stable long-term DFS when performed in first CR with no relapses occurring in over a year after transplantation. Six later relapses, however, were seen after ABMT in second or subsequent CR, although DFS was not statistically different from that of first remission patients (P = .72).

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