Cell cycle characteristics including labeling indices (LI), duration of S-phase (Ts), and total cell cycle time (Tc) were determined in 54 standard-risk, newly diagnosed patients with acute myeloid leukemia following an infusion of bromodeoxyuridine. Remission induction therapy consisting of cytosine arabinoside and daunomycin was then administered to all patients, followed by three courses of consolidation to those who achieved complete remissions (CR). Older patients appeared to have more rapidly cycling cells (P = .003). No unique cell cycle characteristics were identified for patients who achieved remission versus those who had resistant disease. However, the pretherapy cell cycle characteristics were a strong prognosticator for remission duration. CR patients were divided into those whose leukemic cell Tc were above median (A) and below median (B). Among 14 B patients, median duration of response was 211 days, and all relapsed by day 600. Among 18 A patients, the median has not as yet been reached, with nine patients in continuous complete remission (log rank P = .007, Wilcoxon P = .04). We conclude that cell cycle characteristics of leukemic cells play a role in determining remission duration, perhaps because the leukemic cells of the former patients regrow slowly between courses of chemotherapy.