In this investigation, global DNA methylation patterns and the specific methylation status of 5 genes were studied in DNA from peripheral blood (PB) and impact on progression free survival (PFS) and overall-survival (OS) in patients with de novo or relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treated with decitabine-based regimens waas assessed. DNA was isolated from PB samples at the time of -1, 1, and 7 days of chemotherapy. Global methylation was determined by ELISA, and the CpG island DNA methylation profile of 5 genes using a DNA methylation PCR system. Our data demonstrated that patients with a high level of 5-mC had a poor prognosis after demethylation therapy and those who have low levels of 5-mC in PB achieved higher CR and better SO, but there was no significant correlation found between the 5-mC levels and other clinical features before treatment except the disease status. Higher methylation status of Sox2 and Oct4 genes was associated with differential response to demethylation therapy. A relatively low methylation percentage in one or both of these two genes was also associated with longer OS after decitabine based chemotherapy. We also suggest that global DNA and Oct-4/Sox2 methylation might impact on the pathogenesis of leukemia and play an important role in the initiation and progression. Moreover, dynamic analysis of 5-mC and Oct-4/Sox2 in peripheral blood nucleated cells of leukemia patients may provide clues to important molecular diagnostic and prognostic targets.