Background: For those patients who are not candidates for allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) or who do not have an HLA-matched donor, it is unclear whether consolidation therapy with autologous SCT results in a survival benefit compared with further intensive post-remission non-myeloablative chemotherapy or no further therapy. Methods: A meta-analysis evaluating autologous SCT versus further chemotherapy or no treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in first complete remission (CR1) was completed. The search used the following combined search terms in Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, the Cochrane Library, the Web of Science and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure. Results: Overall, 13 studies of 12 randomized controlled trials were identified. Four studies were in pediatric patients and 9 were in adults. For adults, AML in CR1 compared with non-SCT, lower relapse and higher transplantation-related mortality were associated with autologous SCT, a significant disease-free survival benefit of autologous SCT was documented, and there was no difference in overall survival when studies were pooled. For pediatric AML in CR1, there were no differences in relapse, transplantation-related mortality, disease-free survival and overall survival. Significantly less survival from relapse impairment was found for autologous SCT. Conclusion: Our results support the conclusion that autologous SCT should not be considered as the first-line post-remission therapy for AML patients in CR1.

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