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.