We evaluated the synergistic activity of AS101 (ammonium trichloro-(dioxoethylene-0-0′)-tellurate) with the protein kinase C (PKC) activators, Bryostatin-1 and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA), on human myelocytic leukemia cell differentiation in vitro, and in a mouse model. Use of AS101 with Bryostatin-1 or with a low concentration of PMA resulted in the differentiation of HL-60 cell line to cells with characteristics of macrophages. A similar synergistic effect was found in vivo. Compared with mice treated with AS101 alone or with Bryostatin-1 alone, the infiltration of leukemic cells into the spleen and the peritoneum of mice treated with both compounds, as well as the number of the HL-60 colonies extracted from those organs, were markedly reduced. The antitumor effects were associated with significantly prolonged survival (100% for 125 days) of the treated mice. Finally, the mechanism of action of this antitumor effect was explored, and was found to involve the Ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathway. Combined treatment with AS101 and Bryostatin-1 synergistically increased p21waf1 expression levels independently of p53. Upregulation of p21waf1 was necessary for HL-60 cell differentiation, which was found to be both c-raf-1 and mitogen-activated protein kinase dependent. This study may have implications for the development of strategies to induce differentiation in myeloid leukemias, myelodysplasias and possibly in other malignancies.