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One hundred and sixty-two patients initially treated at St Bartholomew's Hospital between 1974 and 1988 developed recurrent acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML). In the majority, the intention was to administer intensive chemotherapy again; 22/162 were re-treated palliatively. A second complete remission (CR) was achieved in 50/126 (40%) evaluable patients. Several different regimens were employed over this time period; the treatment used was the only factor that correlated with achievement of second CR (P = 0.04). Ten of the 50 patients received myeloablative therapy with either allogeneic or autologous bone marrow transplantation in second CR. The median duration of second CR for those patients who did not proceed to intensive consolidation with bone marrow transplantation was 7 months. There was no correlation between second remission duration and age, or with the administration of either intensive or conventional consolidation therapy. The median survival from first recurrence for all patients was 4 months, increasing to only 5 1/2 months for those re-treated with chemotherapy and to 12 months for those patients in whom a second CR was achieved, confirming the very poor prognosis of these patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Br j haematol

Publication Date





404 - 411


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Bone Marrow Purging, Bone Marrow Transplantation, England, Female, Humans, Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute, Male, Middle Aged, Palliative Care, Recurrence, Remission Induction, Survival Rate, Time Factors