To assess the efficacy and toxicity of HAA regimen (homoharritonine 4 mg/m2/day, days 1-3; cytarabine 150 mg/m2/day, days 1-7; aclarubicin 12 mg/m2/day, days 1-7) as an induction therapy in the treatment of de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 48 patients with newly diagnosed AML, aged 35 (14-57) years, were entered into this clinical study. The median follow-up was 26 months. Eighty-three percent of patients achieved complete remission (CR), and the first single course of induction HAA regimen resulted in CR rate of 79%. The CR rate of 100, 82 and 33% were achieved in patients with favorable, intermediate and unfavorable cytogenetics, respectively. For all patients who achieved CR, the median time from the initiation of the induction therapy to the evaluation of the remission status was 32 days. For all patients, the estimated 3 years overall survival (OS) rate was 53%, whereas for patients with M5, the estimated OS rate at 3 years was 75%. The toxicities associated with HAA regimen were acceptable, and the most common toxicity was infection. This study suggested that HAA regimen might be a well-tolerable, effective induction regimen in young adult patients with AML.