- The treatment of acute myelocytic leukemia in childhood and young adults has lagged behind that for acute lymphocytic leukemia. The studies described here were directed towards evaluating the role of intensive chemotherapy in the treatment of this illness. Intensive remission induction therapy combining cytosine arabinoside with an anthracycline antibiotic produced a complete remission rate comparable to that achieved in acute lymphocytic leukemia (45 of 49 patients or 92%). Intensive consolidation chemotherapy produced a median duration of complete remission of 160 weeks with 40% of patients projected to be in remission at 4 years. By contrast, the median duration of remission for patients treated with moderate consolidation/maintenance therapy was 23 weeks with only 10% of patients in remission at 4 years. These studies demonstrate that intensive chemotherapy can be administered to pediatric patients and young adults and that this approach to therapy produces a high remission rate with a 3 year median duration of remission.