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      Decitabine in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes

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          Abstract

          Patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are challenging to treat, given the advanced median age and comorbidities of the population. For most patients, the standard therapy is supportive care, including broad-spectrum antibiotics, red blood cell/platelet transfusions, and growth factors. Decitabine, a hypomethylating agent that allows for the re-expression of tumor suppressor genes, represents an exciting new treatment option for MDS patients. In phase 2 and 3 studies, decitabine has been associated with durable responses in MDS patients and delayed time to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) transformation or death compared with supportive care. Decitabine has been shown to be well tolerated with a toxicity profile expected for this class of agent. Recent studies also suggest that lower dose schedules of decitabine may result in additional improvements in response. As more is learned about the mechanism of hypomethylating agents, new roles are emerging for decitabine in combination therapy for MDS and in other hematologic malignancies such as AML.

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          Most cited references 72

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          International scoring system for evaluating prognosis in myelodysplastic syndromes.

          Despite multiple disparate prognostic risk analysis systems for evaluating clinical outcome for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), imprecision persists with such analyses. To attempt to improve on these systems, an International MDS Risk Analysis Workshop combined cytogenetic, morphological, and clinical data from seven large previously reported risk-based studies that had generated prognostic systems. A global analysis was performed on these patients, and critical prognostic variables were re-evaluated to generate a consensus prognostic system, particularly using a more refined bone marrow (BM) cytogenetic classification. Univariate analysis indicated that the major variables having an impact on disease outcome for evolution to acute myeloid leukemia were cytogenetic abnormalities, percentage of BM myeloblasts, and number of cytopenias; for survival, in addition to the above, variables also included age and gender. Cytogenetic subgroups of outcome were as follows: "good" outcomes were normal, -Y alone, del(5q) alone, del(20q) alone; "poor" outcomes were complex (ie, > or = 3 abnormalities) or chromosome 7 anomalies; and "intermediate" outcomes were other abnormalities. Multivariate analysis combined these cytogenetic subgroups with percentage of BM blasts and number of cytopenias to generate a prognostic model. Weighting these variables by their statistical power separated patients into distinctive subgroups of risk for 25% of patients to undergo evolution to acute myeloid leukemia, with: low (31% of patients), 9.4 years; intermediate-1 (INT-1; 39%), 3.3 years; INT-2 (22%), 1.1 years; and high (8%), 0.2 year. These features also separated patients into similar distinctive risk groups for median survival: low, 5.7 years; INT-1, 3.5 years; INT-2, 1.2 years; and high, 0.4 year. Stratification for age further improved analysis of survival. Compared with prior risk-based classifications, this International Prognostic Scoring System provides an improved method for evaluating prognosis in MDS. This classification system should prove useful for more precise design and analysis of therapeutic trials in this disease.
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            The World Health Organization (WHO) classification of the myeloid neoplasms.

            A World Health Organization (WHO) classification of hematopoietic and lymphoid neoplasms has recently been published. This classification was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Society for Hematopathology, the European Association of Hematopathologists, and more than 100 clinical hematologists and scientists who are internationally recognized for their expertise in hematopoietic neoplasms. For the lymphoid neoplasms, this classification provides a refinement of the entities described in the Revised European-American Lymphoma (REAL) Classification-a system that is now used worldwide. To date, however, there has been no published explanation or rationale given for the WHO classification of the myeloid neoplasms. The purpose of this communication is to outline briefly the WHO classification of malignant myeloid diseases, to draw attention to major differences between it and antecedent classification schemes, and to provide the rationale for those differences.
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              Decitabine improves patient outcomes in myelodysplastic syndromes: results of a phase III randomized study.

              Aberrant DNA methylation, which results in leukemogenesis, is frequent in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and is a potential target for pharmacologic therapy. Decitabine indirectly depletes methylcytosine and causes hypomethylation of target gene promoters. A total of 170 patients with MDS were randomized to receive either decitabine at a dose of 15 mg/m2 given intravenously over 3 hours every 8 hours for 3 days (at a dose of 135 mg/m2 per course) and repeated every 6 weeks, or best supportive care. Response was assessed using the International Working Group criteria and required that response criteria be met for at least 8 weeks. Patients who were treated with decitabine achieved a significantly higher overall response rate (17%), including 9% complete responses, compared with supportive care (0%) (P < .001). An additional 12 patients who were treated with decitabine (13%) achieved hematologic improvement. Responses were durable (median, 10.3 mos) and were associated with transfusion independence. Patients treated with decitabine had a trend toward a longer median time to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) progression or death compared with patients who received supportive care alone (all patients, 12.1 mos vs. 7.8 mos [P = 0.16]; those with International Prognostic Scoring System intermediate-2/high-risk disease, 12.0 mos vs. 6.8 mos [P = 0.03]; those with de novo disease, 12.6 mos vs. 9.4 mos [P = 0.04]; and treatment-naive patients, 12.3 mos vs. 7.3 mos [P = 0.08]). Decitabine was found to be clinically effective in the treatment of patients with MDS, provided durable responses, and improved time to AML transformation or death. The duration of decitabine therapy may improve these results further. 2006 American Cancer Society
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                October 2007
                October 2007
                : 3
                : 5
                : 807-817
                Affiliations
                Professor of Medicine, Malignant Hematology Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital at the University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, Florida, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Hussain I Saba Hematology/Oncology #111R, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612, USA Tel +1 813 972 7582, Fax +1 813 903 4862 Email saba@ 123456moffitt.usf.edu
                Article
                2376088
                18473005
                © 2007 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
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