Improving outcomes in older adults with acute myeloid leukemia remains a formidable challenge. Lintuzumab (SGN-33; HuM195) is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against CD33, which is expressed on the majority of myeloblasts in acute myeloid leukemia. The primary objective of this randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial was to determine whether addition of lintuzumab to low-dose cytarabine would increase overall survival in adults aged 60 years and over with untreated acute myeloid leukemia. Randomization was stratified by age, previous hematologic disorder, and performance status. All patients received cytarabine (20 mg subcutaneously twice daily) on Days 1-10 of each 28-day cycle. Patients received lintuzumab (600 mg) or placebo intravenously once weekly in Cycle 1 and once every other week in Cycles 2-12. A total of 211 patients (107 lintuzumab, 104 placebo) were randomized. Median age was 70 years (range 60-90). Survival was not significantly prolonged with lintuzumab treatment (hazard ratio 0.96; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72-1.28; P=0.7585). Median survival was similar between treatment arms (4.7 months lintuzumab vs. 5.1 months placebo) and in the subgroup of patients with high-risk cytogenetics (4.5 months). Infusion-related reactions, predominantly Grades 1-2, occurred more commonly in the lintuzumab arm (51% vs. 7% placebo); no other clinically significant difference in safety was noted. These results confirm that lintuzumab in combination with low-dose cytarabine did not prolong survival and that low-dose cytarabine remains a valid comparator for trials of non-intensive therapies in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia, regardless of cytogenetic profile.