Epigenetic dysregulation leads to aberrant DNA hypermethylation and is common in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). A large number of clinical trials in AML, MDS, and other hematologic malignancies have assessed hypomethylating agents (HMAs), used alone or in combination with other drugs, in the frontline, maintenance, relapsed/refractory, and peritransplant settings. Effective maintenance therapy has long been a goal for patients with AML in remission. Previous large, randomized clinical trials of maintenance with HMAs or other agents had not shown meaningful improvement in overall survival. Oral azacitidine (Oral-AZA [CC-486]) is approved in the United States, Canada, and European Union for treatment of adult patients with AML in first complete remission (CR) or CR with incomplete blood count recovery (CRi) following intensive induction chemotherapy who are ineligible for hematopoietic cell transplant. Regulatory approvals of Oral-AZA were based on outcomes from the randomized, phase III QUAZAR AML-001 trial, which showed a median overall survival advantage of 9.9 months with Oral-AZA versus placebo. Oral-AZA allows convenient extended AZA dosing for 14 days per 28-day treatment cycle, which is not feasible with injectable AZA. Focusing on AML and MDS, this report reviews the rationale for the use of orally bioavailable AZA and its potential use in all-oral combination therapy regimens; the unique pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile of Oral-AZA compared with injectable AZA; the clinical safety and efficacy of Oral-AZA maintenance therapy in patients with AML in first remission and for treatment of patients with active MDS; and ongoing Oral-AZA clinical trials.
Oral Azacitidine (CC-486) for the Treatment of Myeloid Malignancies / Garcia-Manero G.; Dohner H.; Wei A.H.; La Torre I.; Skikne B.; Beach C.L.; Santini V.. - In: CLINICAL LYMPHOMA MYELOMA & LEUKEMIA. - ISSN 2152-2650. - ELETTRONICO. - online ahead of print:(2021), pp. 0-0. [10.1016/j.clml.2021.09.021]