Azacitidine in Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes: A Meta-Analysis of Data from Prospective Studies.
CONCLUSION: Azacitidine effects in these patients, most with non-del(5q) LR-MDS, were promising and generally similar to those reported for lenalidomide in similar patients. The choice of initial therapy is important because most patients eventually stop responding to front-line therapy and alternatives are limited. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (LR-MDS) are primarily characterized by anemia. After erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) failure, lenalidomide and hypomethylating agents are the only remaining treatment options for most patients. This meta-analysis of 233 azacitidine-treated red blood cell (RBC) transfusion-dependent patients with LR-MDS (92.3% non-del[5q]) from 7 studies showed 38.9% became RBC transfusion-independent. There is no clear guidance regarding the optimal choice of lenalidomide or hypomethylating agents for patients with non-del(5q) LR-MDS following ESA failure. Clinical presentation (e.g., number of cytopenias) and potential outcomes after hypomethylating agent failure are factors to consider when making initial treatment decisions for LR-MDS patients. PMID: 29118268 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]