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Secondary acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) has a poor outcome following "3 + 7-like" chemotherapy. While CPX-351 has been approved for patients aged 60-75, the optimal treatment, or comparator, in younger patients is less clear. The MRC AML15 trial randomised younger patients between daunorubicin and ara-C (DA) and DA plus etoposide (ADE) and ADE and fludarabine, cytarabine, idarubicin, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (FLAG-Ida) induction. Overall results failed to show an overall survival benefit for FLAG-Ida despite a reduction in relapse, the outcome of patients <60 years with secondary AML compared to DA/ADE was not reported. In this group (n = 115) response to induction was not different [complete remission/complete remission with incomplete haematological response 81% vs. 79%), however, 5-year overall survival and relapse free survival was superior for FLAG-Ida [37% vs. 27%, stratified hazard ratio (HR) 0·45 (0·33-0·90) P = 0·02 and 41% vs. 22%; stratified HR 0·54 (0·31-0·96) P = 0·04] respectively, suggesting that younger patients with secondary AML may benefit from treatment intensification and that "3 + 7" may not be the optimal comparator in trials for this group of patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





1344 - 1347


chemotherapy, clinical trial, secondary acute myeloid leukaemia, Aged, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Cytarabine, Follow-Up Studies, Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor, Humans, Idarubicin, Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Neoplasms, Second Primary, Remission Induction, Vidarabine