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Semin Hematol. 2005 Jul;42(3 Suppl 2):S23-31.

Decitabine in myelodysplastic syndromes.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine, James A Haley Veterans Hospital, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. saba@moffitt.usf.edu


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a heterogenous group of hematopoietic stem cell disorders that are multifactorial in their etiology. Aberrant DNA hypermethylation is now thought to be involved in MDS, as numerous tumor-suppressor genes have been identified that are silenced in these patients. Thus, the use of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, such as 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (decitabine, Dacogen, MGI Pharma Inc, Bloomington, MN), for reversal of this process appears to be a rational intervention that may influence the course of the disease. Several phase I/II studies have been conducted using a low-dose schedule of decitabine in MDS patients. Based on these studies, decitabine appears to be effective and generally well tolerated, especially in those patients with worse prognostic indicators. Recent results of a phase III study also confirmed that patients treated with decitabine compared to standard supportive care had higher overall response rates and longer time to AML transformation. Decitabine appears to be a promising new therapy for the treatment of MDS; however, defining the optimal dosing schedule and exploring the possible use in combination with other agents such as the histone deacetylase inhibitors need further evaluation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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