Idarubicin appears equivalent to dose-intense daunorubicin for remission induction in patients with acute myeloid leukemia

Leuk Res. 2013 Aug;37(8):868-71. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2013.04.009. Epub 2013 May 31.


Daunorubicin has historically been considered the anthracycline of choice at many cancer centers for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Drug shortages have required the substitution of daunorubicin with idarubicin. Randomized studies have shown idarubicin (10-12mg/m(2)) to be comparable or superior to standard dose daunorubicin (45-60mg/m(2)) for achieving complete remission (CR). Whether these results can be extrapolated to dose-intense daunorubicin (90mg/m(2)), recently shown to improve CR rates when compared to standard daunorubicin doses remains uncertain. This observational study was conducted at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) to compare CR rates. The results suggest idarubicin is equivalent to daunorubicin, and for some subsets of patients, idarubicin may have superior CR rates.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biological Availability
  • Daunorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Daunorubicin / pharmacokinetics
  • Daunorubicin / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Idarubicin / administration & dosage
  • Idarubicin / pharmacokinetics
  • Idarubicin / therapeutic use*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / metabolism
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Remission Induction
  • Young Adult


  • Idarubicin
  • Daunorubicin