The role of azacitidine in the management of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
KS Götze, C Müller-Thomas, C Peschel
Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
Abstract: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of common bone marrow disorders characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis, peripheral cytopenias, and a propensity for transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). For many years, the main treatment option for MDS was best supportive care which alleviates symptoms but has no effect on the natural course of the disease. The recent approval of the demethylating agent azacitidine represents a significant advance in the treatment of MDS. The results of two randomized trials with azacitidine have shown an overall response rate between 40% and 60%, an improved quality of life, a reduced risk of transformation to AML and a definite survival advantage compared to best supportive care or low-dose chemotherapy. Current data on azacitidine and its place in the treatment of MDS are reviewed.
Keywords: myelodysplastic syndromes, MDS, azacitidine, epigenetic therapy, demethyltransferase inhibitor
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