The hypomethylating agent azacitidine (AZA) significantly extends overall survival (OS) in patients with higher risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), when compared with other conventional care regimens, including supportive care and low-dose and intensive chemotherapy. However, the effects of 5- and 7-day treatment schedules of AZA (AZA-5 and AZA-7, respectively) on the OS of MDS patients had not been compared prospectively. We started a phase 3 trial comparing the effects of AZA-7 and AZA-5 on MDS patients with refractory anemia with excess blasts (RAEB) and RAEB in transformation (RAEB-T). However, this trial was prematurely terminated because of poor recruitment. Using all data, there was no significant difference in the OS of patients between AZA-7 (92 patients) and AZA-5 (95 patients), with the 2-year OS rates of AZA-7 and AZA-5 at 36.4% and 25.8%, respectively (P = 0.293). Adverse event profiles were similar between the two groups. Interestingly, data of the centrally diagnosed RAEB and RAEB-T cases showed that AZA-7 significantly prolonged the time to leukemia transformation compared with AZA-5 (P = 0.022), confirmed by multivariate analysis. Although this trial could not provide definite evidence, the results support the use of AZA-7 for RAEB and RAEB-T. (UMIN Clinical Trials Registry UMIN000009633).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes