This study was purposed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of autologous cytokine induced killer (CIK) cells combined with chemotherapy in treatment of elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) were isolated from 5 elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia, and then augmented by priming with interferon gamma (IFN-γ) followed by IL-2 and monoclonal antibody (mAb) against CD3. The autologous CIK cells thus obtained were infused back to individual patients, 28 days as one cycle. The changes in cellular immune function, incidence of infection, independence of hematoglobin or blood transfusion, and progression of disease were observed and assessed before and after therapy. The results showed that the 46 cycles of CIK cell infusion were performed for 5 patients, no adverse reaction was observed in these patients. The percentages of CD3(+), CD3(+)CD8(+) and CD3(+)CD56(+) increased significantly (P < 0.05), The therapy of CIK could significantly reduce the incidence of infection (P < 0.05) and shorten the time of high fever in AML patients (P < 0.05). CIK also could reduce the volume of erythrocyte infusion to maintenance hematoglobin level (P < 0.05). We found that although CIK could not change the outcome of AML, the combination of CIK and chemotherapy could control patients' condition and prolong their survival during the development and end stage of AML. It is concluded that autologous CIK cells combined with chemotherapy is safe and efficacious for the elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia.