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This randomized phase III trial studies clofarabine to see how well it works compared with daunorubicin hydrochloride and cytarabine when followed by decitabine or observation in treating older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as clofarabine, daunorubicin hydrochloride, cytarabine, and decitabine, work in different ways to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Giving more than one drug (combination chemotherapy) may kill more cancer cells. It is not yet known which chemotherapy regimen is more effective in treating acute myeloid leukemia.
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