Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The relative efficacy and toxicity of the chemotherapeutic agents thioguanine (6TG) and etoposide (VP16) were assessed by a randomized comparison of the DAT (daunorubicin, cytarabine, thioguanine) versus ADE (daunorubicin, cytarabine, etoposide) regimens in the Medical Research Council's 10th acute myeloid leukaemia trial (MRC AML 10), which was open to patient entry from May 1988 to April 1995. In this, the largest reported trial of AML therapy to date, 1,857 eligible patients, mostly less than 56 years old, were randomized: 929 (including 143 children under 15 years old) were allocated to DAT and 928 (143 children) to ADE. The two groups were well matched for presentation features. The complete remission (CR) rate was 81% with DAT and 83% with ADE (P = .3). The percentages of remitters achieving remission after 1, 2, or more than 2 courses were 70%, 22%, and 8% for DAT and 74%, 21%, and 5% for ADE. The percentages failing to achieve a CR due to resistant disease were 11% with DAT versus 9% with ADE (P = .07). There was a slightly higher death rate in CR during consolidation chemotherapy with ADE (9%) than with DAT (6%) (P = .06). Patients receiving DAT took slightly but significantly longer to recover from neutropenia and thrombocytopenia but the median number of days in hospital were similar in each group. ADE patients experienced slightly more severe nonhematologic toxicity. There was also no significant difference between the groups in the longer-term measures of efficacy: disease-free survival at 6 years from CR was 42% (+/-4) for DAT and 43% (+/-4) for ADE (P = .8); relapse rate at 6 years was 50% (+/-4) for DAT and 49% (+/-5) for ADE (P = .6); survival at 6 years was 40% (+/-4) for both DAT and ADE (P = .9). Subgroup analysis failed to show any benefit for etoposide in patients with monocytic or myelomonocytic disease, or in any other diagnostic subgroup. In conclusion, DAT and ADE both achieve high remission rates and good long-term survival, and are equally effective chemotherapy regimens for the treatment of AML patients aged up to 55 years.


Journal article



Publication Date





2311 - 2318


Acute Disease, Adolescent, Adult, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Child, Child, Preschool, Cytarabine, Daunorubicin, Disease-Free Survival, Etoposide, Female, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Infant, Leukemia, Myeloid, Life Tables, Male, Methotrexate, Middle Aged, Myelodysplastic Syndromes, Patient Compliance, Remission Induction, Survival Analysis, Thioguanine, Treatment Outcome