An improved complete remission rate in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) has been noted since cytarabine and anthracyclines were introduced into clinical practice. Forty-one (9%) of 457 patients with AML treated between 1965 and 1976 have survived more than five years. The proportion of five-year survivors for patients treated between 1973 and 1976, 1970 and 1972, and 1965 and 1969 were 11.8%, 8.8%, and 1.8%, respectively. The major factor influencing five-year survival was whether or not patients were treated with cytarabine alone or combined with an anthracycline. Thirty-six (17%) of the 207 complete responders remained in continuous complete remission for more than five years. Twenty-four of the 36 patients who are in remission for more than five years have not been receiving chemotherapy for more than five years and are considered potentially cured.
Keating MJ, McCredie KB, Bodey GP, Smith TL, Gehan E, Freireich EJ. Improved Prospects for Long-term Survival in Adults With Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. JAMA. 1982;248(19):2481-2486. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330190045029