Randomized multicenter trial of cytosine arabinoside with mitoxantrone or daunorubicin in previously untreated adult patients with acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL). Lederle Cooperative Group

Leukemia. 1990 Mar;4(3):177-83.


This phase III, randomized trial in previously untreated adults with ANLL compared mitoxantrone plus cytosine arabinoside with the CALGB "7 + 3" daunorubicin-based regimen. Two hundred evaluable patients (98 treated with the mitoxantrone-based regimen and 102 with the daunorubicin-based regimen) were included in the analysis of efficacy. The median age of the patients was 60 years. The induction regimen comprised cytosine arabinoside 100 mg/m2 by infusion daily for 7 days and mitoxantrone 12 mg/m2 or daunorubicin 45 mg/m2 daily for days 1-3. If needed, a second induction course was administered: cytosine arabinoside for 5 days and mitoxantrone or daunorubicin for 2 days. Postremission therapy consisted of two consolidation courses, identical to the second induction course. Sixty-three percent (62 of 98) of patients treated with mitoxantrone achieved complete remission (CR), compared to 53% (54 of 102) treated with daunorubicin. The median time to CR was 35 days in patients treated with mitoxantrone and 43 days for those treated with daunorubicin. Eighty-nine percent (55 of 62) of patients treated with mitoxantrone who entered complete remission achieved CR following one induction course, compared to 68% (37 of 54) of patients treated with daunorubicin who entered CR. The median duration of CR was 240 days in patients treated with mitoxantrone and 198 days in those treated with daunorubicin; the median length of survival was 328 days in patients who received mitoxantrone and 247 days in those who received daunorubicin. The toxicity profiles in patients treated with either of the two regimens were comparable in incidence and in severity. Patients treated with mitoxantrone required fewer median platelet units and were treated with fewer median days of intravenous antibiotics, compared to those who received daunorubicin. Mitoxantrone in combination with cytosine arabinoside is effective in previously untreated ANLL. complete remissions occur more frequently after a single induction course of the mitoxantrone-based regimen, compared to the standard Cancer and Acute Leukemia Group B regimen. This should be explored in further trials.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cytarabine / administration & dosage
  • Daunorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitoxantrone / administration & dosage
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Remission Induction
  • Survival Rate


  • Cytarabine
  • Mitoxantrone
  • Daunorubicin