The outcomes in children with refractory/relapsed (R/R) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are dismal. The efficacy and safety of intravenous clofarabine 40 mg/m(2) per day, cyclophosphamide 440 mg/m(2) per day, and etoposide 100 mg/m(2) per day for 5 consecutive days in pediatric patients with R/R ALL was evaluated in this phase 2 study. The primary endpoint was overall response rate (complete remission [CR] plus CR without platelet recovery [CRp]). Among the 25 patients (median age, 14 years; pre-B cell ALL, 84%; >/= 2 prior regimens: 84%; refractory to previous regimen: 60%), the overall response rate was 44% (7 CR, 4 CRp) with a 67.3-week median duration or remission censored at last follow-up. Most patients proceeded to alternative therapy, and 10 patients (40%) received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Six patients (24%) died because of treatment-related adverse events associated with infection, hepatotoxicity, and/or multiorgan failure. The study protocol was amended to exclude patients with prior hematopoietic stem cell transplantation after 4 of the first 8 patients developed severe hepatotoxicity suggestive of veno-occlusive disease. No additional cases of veno-occlusive disease occurred. The regimen offered encouraging response rates and sustained remission in R/R patients. Future investigation should include exploration of patient selection, dosing, and supportive care. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00315705.