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"A pyrimidine analogue that inhibits DNA methyltransferase, impairing DNA methylation. It is also an antimetabolite of cytidine, incorporated primarily into RNA. Azacytidine has been used as an antineoplastic agent." (MeSH 2013)

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Web Resources: Azacitidine
Latest Research Publications

Web Resources: Azacitidine (5 links)

Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Dudzik P, Trojan SE, Ostrowska B, et al.
The Epigenetic Modifier 5-Aza-2-deoxycytidine Triggers the Expression of
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(5):2395-2403 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: During cancer progression cells undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Although EMT is a complex process, recently, it has been reported that CD146 overexpression in prostate cancer cells is sufficient to induce mesenchymal phenotype. The following study aimed to investigate whether the expression of CD146 is altered by an epigenetic modifier in prostate cancer cells, in vitro.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three human prostate cancer cell lines were treated with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine; the expression of CD146 and EMT-related factors was analyzed by RT-PCR and western Blot. The methylation status of the CD146 promoter area was assessed using bisulfite sequencing.
RESULTS: Our data showed that, the expression of CD146 was evidently increased in all three studied cell lines in response to a demethylating agent, both at the mRNA and protein level, suggesting epigenetic regulation of the analyzed gene. However, there was no methylation in the studied CpG island in CD146 gene promoter. Moreover, the demethylating agent induced the expression of EMT-related transcription factors (SNAI1, SNAI2, TWIST1 and ZEB1), the pattern of which differed among the cell lines, as well as alterations in cell morphology; altogether accounting for the mesenchymal phenotype.
CONCLUSION: The demethylating agent 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine triggers the expression of CD146 in prostate cancer cells independently on the methylation status of the analyzed CpG island fragment in CD146 gene promoter. Moreover, demethylation treatment induces a mesenchymal profile in prostate cancer cells.

Kim TW, Han SR, Kim JT, et al.
Differential expression of tescalcin by modification of promoter methylation controls cell survival in gastric cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(6):3464-3474 [PubMed] Related Publications
The EF‑hand calcium binding protein tescalcin (TESC) is highly expressed in various human and mouse cancer tissues and is therefore considered a potential oncogene. However, the underlying mechanism that governs TESC expression remains unclear. Emerging evidence suggests that TESC expression is under epigenetic regulation. In the present study, the relationship between the epigenetic modification and gene expression of TESC in gastric cancer was investigated. To evaluate the relationship between the methylation and expression of TESC in gastric cancer, the methylation status of CpG sites in the TESC promoter was analyzed using microarray with the Illumina Human Methylation27 BeadChip (HumanMethylation27_270596_v.1.2), gene profiles from the NCBI Dataset that revealed demethylated status were acquired, and real‑time methylation‑specific PCR (MSP) in gastric cancer cells was conducted. In the present study, it was demonstrated that the hypermethylation of TESC led to the downregulation of TESC mRNA/protein expression. In addition, 5‑aza‑2c‑deoxycytidine (5'‑aza‑dC) restored TESC expression in the tested gastric cancer cells except for SNU‑620 cells. ChIP assay further revealed that the methylation of the TESC promoter was associated with methyl‑CpG binding domain protein (MBD)1, histone deacetylase (HDAC)2, and Oct‑1 and that treatment with 5'‑aza‑dC facilitated the dissociation of MBD1, HDAC2, and Oct‑1 from the promoter of TESC. Moreover, silencing of TESC increased MBD1 expression and decreased the H3K4me2/3 level, thereby causing transcriptional repression and suppression of cell survival in NCI‑N87 cells; conversely, overexpression of TESC downregulated MBD1 expression and upregulated the H3K4me2 level associated with active transcription in SNU‑638 cells. These results indicated that the differential expression of TESC via the modification status of the promoter and histone methylation controled cell survival in gastric cancer cells. Overall, the present study provided a novel therapeutic strategy for gastric cancer.

Briot T, Roger E, Bou Haidar N, et al.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2019; 14:2091-2102 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: Acute myeloid leukemia mainly affects adult patients. Complete remission for patients younger than 60 years, who are candidates for standard induction therapy, is achieved in 60%-80% of cases. However, the prognosis is still poor for older patients, who are unfit for intensive chemotherapy, and only a few therapies are available. Hypomethylating agents, such as decitabine, are approved for such patients. The current dosing regimen consists of one administration per day, for 5 days, each 4 weeks.
Methods: Here, we present the synthesis of a decitabine prodrug, combined with its encapsulation into a lipid-based nanocapsule formulation. Decitabine (C12)
Results: Decitabine (C12)
Conclusion: Decitabine (C12)

Estekizadeh A, Landázuri N, Pantalone MR, et al.
5‑Azacytidine treatment results in nuclear exclusion of DNA methyltransferase‑1, as well as reduced proliferation and invasion in human cytomegalovirus‑infected glioblastoma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(5):2927-2936 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive form of brain tumor in adults, with a devastating outcome. Emerging evidence shows that human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) proteins and nucleic acids are present in GBM tissues. DNA methylation is important for the initiation and progression of cancer and is an established host response against invading nucleic acids. The expression and localization of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT‑1) was assessed, and the effects of DNA methylation inhibitor 5‑azacytidine (5AZA) were analyzed in the context of the viral replication, proliferation and invasion capacities of HCMV‑infected GBM U343MG cells. In addition, the expression of various HCMV proteins and DNMT‑1 was examined in GBM tissue specimens obtained from five patients. DNMT‑1 was localized in the nucleus of cells expressing HCMV‑immediate early, whereas in cells expressing HCMV‑glycoprotein gB (gB), extranuclear/cytoplasmic localization was observed. This was also observed in vitro in U343MG cells. In addition, DNMT‑1 was localized to the extranuclear/cytoplasmic space of cells lining blood vessel walls within the GBM tumors. Treatment of infected U343MG cells with 5AZA did not affect viral replication, but reduced cell invasion and proliferation (P=0.05 and P<0.0001, respectively). However, 5AZA treatment of uninfected cells did not affect cell invasion (P=0.09), but proliferation was significantly reduced (P<0.0001). These findings may be of importance in further investigations aimed at using DNA methylation and viral inhibitors in GBM therapy.

Jin M, Hu Y, Wu W, et al.
Decitabine plus CLAG chemotherapy as a bridge to haploidentical transplantation in the setting of acute myeloid leukemia relapse after HLA-matched sibling transplantation: a case report.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):242 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) have a poor prognosis, with a 2-year survival rate of 14%. The optimal treatment for these patients remains unclear. To treat these patients, we designed a new salvage regimen consisting of decitabine, cladribine, cytarabine, and granulocyte-stimulating factor (D-CLAG).
CASE PRESENTATION: Here, we describe a case of acute monocytic leukemia with a complex karyotype in a 38-year-old female patient who relapsed after her first HSCT, which was performed using a matched sibling donor. The patient did not respond to standard induction chemotherapy and subsequently achieved complete remission with the D-CLAG regimen. No severe hematological or extramedullary toxicity was observed. Subsequently, the patient received a second D-CLAG regimen as a bridge therapy and directly underwent haploidentical related HSCT. Following HSCT, the marrow showed complete hematologic and cytogenetic remission. Currently, 1 year after transplantation, the patient's general condition remains good.
CONCLUSIONS: This case suggests that the D-CLAG regimen can be an option for reinduction in relapsed refractory AML patients as a bridge to transplantation. Nevertheless, further research will be required in the future as this report describes only a single case.

Ishigami-Yuasa M, Ekimoto H, Kagechika H
Class IIb HDAC Inhibition Enhances the Inhibitory Effect of Am80, a Synthetic Retinoid, in Prostate Cancer.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2019; 42(3):448-452 [PubMed] Related Publications
Combination therapy is often an effective strategy to treat cancer. In this study, we examined the growth-inhibitory effects of Am80 (tamibarotene), a specific retinoic acid receptor (RAR) α/β agonist, in combination with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), or a DNA methyl transferase (DNMT) inhibitor, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, on androgen receptor (AR)-positive and AR-negative prostate cancer cell lines (LNCaP and PC-3, respectively). We found that the combination therapy of SAHA and Am80 showed an enhanced growth-inhibitory effect on LNCaP cells. Further studies with various HDAC isotype-selective inhibitors showed that SAHA and KD5170 (a selective class I and II HDAC inhibitor) each increased the RARα protein level in LNCaP cells. Our results indicate that the target of the enhancing effect belongs to the Class IIb HDACs, especially HDAC6. Dual targeting of Class IIb HDAC and RARα may be a candidate therapeutic strategy for prostate cancer.

El-Serafi AT, Sandeep D, Abdallah S, et al.
Paradoxical effects of the epigenetic modifiers 5-aza-deoxycytidine and suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid on adipogenesis.
Differentiation. 2019 Mar - Apr; 106:1-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adipogenesis is an important biological process that is linked to obesity and metabolic disorders. On the other hand, fat regeneration is crucial as a restorative approach following mastectomy or severe burn injury. Furthermore, optimizing an in-vitro model of adipogenesis, which would help in understanding the possible effects and/or side effects of fat-soluble drugs and anti-obesity remedies, in addition to the developmental studies. Epigenetic is an important factor that is involved in cellular differentiation and commitment. This study aimed at investigating the effect of DNA methylation and histone deactylases inhibitors, 5-Aza-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC) and Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), on the adipogenic differentiation process. The two modifiers were applied according to our previously published protocol, followed by three cycles of a classical, two-step adipogenesis protocol. The cells pretreated with SAHA showed enhanced expression of the many adipogenic genes, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ as well as the accumulation of intracytoplasmic fat as shown by oil red and Nile red staining and the secretion of adipokines, such as MCP-1 and IP-10. On contrary, 5-Aza-dC inhibited all these markers. In conclusion, adding the reported step with SAHA to the differentiation protocols could have an impact on the progress of the in-vitro fat regenerative approach. The possible role of 5-Aza-dC in the inhibition of adipogenesis can be of clinical interest and will need further characterization in the future.

Shi X, Chen X, Fang B, et al.
Decitabine enhances tumor recognition by T cells through upregulating the MAGE-A3 expression in esophageal carcinoma.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 112:108632 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer testis (CT) antigens are expressed in various types of tumors and represent the potential targets for T cell-based immunotherapy. Analysis of CT gene expression and DNA methylation have indicated that certain CT genes are epigenetically regulated and studies have confirmed that certain CT antigens are regulated by DNA methylation. In this study, we explored the epigenetic regulation of MAGE-A3 and improved the clinical outcome of MAGE-A3-specific T cell therapy in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We used molecular profiling datasets in The Cancer Genome Atlas to analyze CT gene expression in ESCC and its regulation by DNA methylation. We performed quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR), immunohistochemistry and bisulfite sequencing in ESCC cell lines and ESCC tissues. Functional assays, such as flow cytometry, cytotoxicity assays and ELISA, were performed to determine the demethylation agent, decitabine (5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, DAC)-treated cancer cell improved antigen specific T cells response. ESCC tumor cell-xenograft mouse model and enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays were used to determine the function of DAC treatment in enhancing anti-MAGE-3 T cell responses in ESCC. Furthermore, we performed qRT-PCR and flow cytometry in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients. MAGE-A3, one of the CT antigens, expressed at various levels in ESCC and was interfered by DNA methylation. We observed an efficient increase in MAGE-A3 expression in tumor cells and tissues after the treatment of decitabine and the expression of MAGE-A3 was affected by DNA methylation. Functional assays showed enhanced secretion of IFN-γ and cytolysis of MAGE-A3 antigen-specific T cells by DAC-treated target cells. In the tumor cell-xenograft mouse model and ELISPOT assays, DAC increased the expression of MAGE-A3 and T cell mediated tumor clearance in ESCC as well. Notably, the proportions of MAGE-A3-responsive T cells were elevated in DAC-treated patients with MDS, indicating DAC dismissed the epigenetic inhibition of MAGE-A3. DAC would probably improve the clinical outcome of MAGE-A3-specific T cell therapy by augmenting the expression of target gene.

Desjobert C, Carrier A, Delmas A, et al.
Demethylation by low-dose 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine impairs 3D melanoma invasion partially through miR-199a-3p expression revealing the role of this miR in melanoma.
Clin Epigenetics. 2019; 11(1):9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Efficient treatments against metastatic melanoma dissemination are still lacking. Here, we report that low-cytotoxic concentrations of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, a DNA demethylating agent, prevent in vitro 3D invasiveness of metastatic melanoma cells and reduce lung metastasis formation in vivo.
RESULTS: We unravelled that this beneficial effect is in part due to MIR-199A2 re-expression by promoter demethylation. Alone, this miR showed an anti-invasive and anti-metastatic effect. Throughout integration of micro-RNA target prediction databases with transcriptomic analysis after 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatments, we found that miR-199a-3p downregulates set of genes significantly involved in invasion/migration processes. In addition, analysis of data from melanoma patients showed a stage- and tissue type-dependent modulation of MIR-199A2 expression by DNA methylation.
CONCLUSIONS: Thus, our data suggest that epigenetic- and/or miR-based therapeutic strategies can be relevant to limit metastatic dissemination of melanoma.

Leung KK, Nguyen A, Shi T, et al.
Multiomics of azacitidine-treated AML cells reveals variable and convergent targets that remodel the cell-surface proteome.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019; 116(2):695-700 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are diseases of abnormal hematopoietic differentiation with aberrant epigenetic alterations. Azacitidine (AZA) is a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor widely used to treat MDS and AML, yet the impact of AZA on the cell-surface proteome has not been defined. To identify potential therapeutic targets for use in combination with AZA in AML patients, we investigated the effects of AZA treatment on four AML cell lines representing different stages of differentiation. The effect of AZA treatment on these cell lines was characterized at three levels: the DNA methylome, the transcriptome, and the cell-surface proteome. Untreated AML cell lines showed substantial overlap at all three omics levels; however, while AZA treatment globally reduced DNA methylation in all cell lines, changes in the transcriptome and surface proteome were subtle and differed among the cell lines. Transcriptome analysis identified five commonly up-regulated coding genes upon AZA treatment in all four cell lines, TRPM4 being the only gene encoding a surface protein, and surface proteome analysis found no commonly regulated proteins. Gene set enrichment analysis of differentially regulated RNA and surface proteins showed a decrease in metabolic pathways and an increase in immune defense response pathways. As such, AZA treatment led to diverse effects at the individual gene and protein levels but converged to common responses at the pathway level. Given the heterogeneous responses in the four cell lines, we discuss potential therapeutic strategies for AML in combination with AZA.

Oing C, Verem I, Mansour WY, et al.
5-Azacitidine Exerts Prolonged Pro-Apoptotic Effects and Overcomes Cisplatin-Resistance in Non-Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumor Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 20(1) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite high cure rates, about 20% of patients with advanced germ cell tumors (GCTs) fail cisplatin-based chemotherapy. High levels of DNA methylation have been identified in GCTs and linked to cisplatin resistance. Here, we examined the effects of DNA hypomethylating 5-azacitidine (5-aza) on two embryonal carcinoma cell lines (NCCIT, 2102Ep) and their cisplatin-resistant isogenic derivatives. Effects on cell viability and cisplatin sensitivity were assessed by the trypan blue exclusion method. Western blotting was used to examine induction of apoptosis 5-aza and results were validated by flow cytometry. Single agent treatment with 5-aza strongly impacted viability and induced apoptosis at low nanomolar concentrations, both in cisplatin-sensitive and -resistant cell lines. 5-aza exerted an immediate apoptotic response, followed by a prolonged inhibitory effect on cell viability and cell-cycle progression. Sequential treatment with 5-aza and cisplatin reduced cellular survival of the cisplatin-resistant sublines already at nanomolar concentrations, suggesting a partial restoration of cisplatin sensitivity by the compound. 5-aza demonstrated anti-tumor activity as a single agent at low nanomolar concentrations in GCT cells, irrespective of cisplatin-sensitivity. 5-aza may also have the potential at least to partially restore cisplatin-sensitivity in non-seminoma cells, supporting the hypothesis that combining DNA demethylating agents with cisplatin-based chemotherapy may be a valid therapeutic approach in patients with refractory GCTs.

Huang J, Zhao H, Hong M, et al.
Early recovery of the platelet count after decitabine-based induction chemotherapy is a prognostic marker of superior response in elderly patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):1269 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Definite prognostic clinical factors of benefit for decitabine-based induction chemotherapy in elderly patients newly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) are not identified. This study was designed to explore the potential biomarker, especially regeneration of haematopoiesis, of treatment response and survival in elderly patients with newly diagnosed AML.
METHOD: We analysed the clinical data of 117 elderly AML patients who were treated with a decitabine dose of 15 mg/m
RESULTS: After initial induction chemotherapy, the overall response rate and complete remission (CR) were 71.8% and 58.1%, respectively. Patients responding to the D-CAG regimen achieved higher platelet counts on day 14 after initial treatment (p < 0.001). Median counts were 59.5 × 10
CONCLUSION: Platelet count recovery on day 14 after D-CAG induction chemotherapy is associated with response.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: D-CAG regimen was registered on ChicTR with number 11001700 .

Short NJ, Kantarjian HM, Loghavi S, et al.
Treatment with a 5-day versus a 10-day schedule of decitabine in older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia: a randomised phase 2 trial.
Lancet Haematol. 2019; 6(1):e29-e37 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hypomethylating agents, such as decitabine, are the standard of care for older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia. Single-arm studies have suggested that a 10-day schedule of decitabine cycles leads to better outcomes than the usual 5-day schedule. We compared the efficacy and safety of these two schedules.
METHODS: Eligible patients were aged 60 years or older with acute myeloid leukaemia but unsuitable for intensive chemotherapy (or <60 years if unsuitable for intensive chemotherapy with an anthracycline plus cytarabine). The first 40 patients were allocated equally to the two treatment groups by computer-generated block randomisation (block size 40), after which a response-adaptive randomisation algorithm used all previous patients' treatment and response data to decide the allocation of each following patient favouring the group with superior response. Patients were assigned to receive 20 mg/m
FINDINGS: Between Feb 28, 2013, and April 12, 2018, 71 patients were enrolled. 28 received decitabine for 5 days and 43 for 10 days, and all were assessable for efficacy and safety. The primary endpoint was achieved in similar proportions of patients in the two treatment groups (12 [43%] of 28 in the 5-day schedule group, 95% credible interval 26-60, and 17 [40%] of 43 in the 10-day schedule group, 26-54, p=0·78; difference 3%, -21 to 27). Total follow-up was 38·2 months, during which the median duration of overall survival was 5·5 months (IQR 2·1-11·7) in the 5-day group and 6·0 months (1·9-11·7) in the 10-day group. 1-year overall survival was 25% in both groups. Complete remission, CRp, CRi, and overall survival did not differ between groups when stratified by cytogenetics, de-novo versus secondary or therapy-related acute myeloid leukaemia, or TP53
INTERPRETATION: In older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia, efficacy and safety did not differ by the 5-day or the 10-day decitabine schedule.
FUNDING: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and National Cancer Institute Specialized Programs of Research Excellence.

Filì C, Candoni A, Zannier ME, et al.
Efficacy and toxicity of Decitabine in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML): A multicenter real-world experience.
Leuk Res. 2019; 76:33-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The hypomethylating agent Decitabine (DAC) is a valuable treatment option in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), particularly in elderly patients (pts) not suitable for intensive chemotherapy (CHT). However, limited data are available about efficacy and safety of DAC in clinical practice.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed data of 104 AML pts treated with DAC in eight Italian Hematological Centers from 2015 to 2017. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DAC in older AML pts outside of clinical trial. Seventy-five (75%) pts received DAC as first line treatment (Cohort 1) and 29 pts as salvage therapy (Cohort 2). All pts received a DAC schedule of 20 mg/sqm IV for 5-days, every 28 days. The median age was 72.5 years (74 in cohort 1 and 66 in cohort 2) and 16% of pts had an ECOG performance status >2 at the start of DAC treatment (with non-significant difference in the two cohorts). The cumulative illness rating scale (CIRS) was > 6 in 27% of pts. Forty-five pts (43%) had secondary AML. Bone marrow blast count was > 30% in 64% of patients (67/104). In the relapsed cohort 17/29 (59%) patients were treated with DAC after conventional CHT, 5/29 (17%) after allo-SCT and 7/29 (24%) after azacitidine therapy.
RESULTS: A total of 469 DAC cycles were given to the 104 pts with a median of 3 cycles (range 1-21) and 45/104 (43%) pts received > 4 cycles. The Overall Response Rate (ORR = Complete Remission-CR plus Partial Remission-PR) was 33%, significantly higher in Cohort 1 (42%) compared to Cohort 2 (14%) (p = 0.009). The median duration of response was 6 months (range 1-20). In Cohort 1 the best response (CR or PR) was obtained between 3th and 6th cycle. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, achievement of CR or PR (HR = 0.78; p = 0.0004), CIRS < 6 (HR = 0.9; p = 0.04) and complex karyotype (HR = 0.8; p = 0.03) were significant predictors of better overall survival (OS). Median OS from the start of DAC therapy was 11 months for the whole population with a significant OS advantage in Cohort 1 (median OS 12.7 mths vs 6.3 mths; p = 0.003); median OS was significantly longer in responders compared to non-responders (22.6 mths vs 5.7 mths; p < 0.0001). At the last follow-up, 56 patients (54%) are still alive and 48 (46%) are dead (71% due to disease progression). The most common toxicities were myelosuppression and documented infectious complications that occurred mainly during the first 4 cycles.
CONCLUSION: These data confirm the efficacy (ORR 33%) and the acceptable safety profile of DAC in the real life management of AML in elderly pts unsuitable for intensive CHT, with a significant better performance in first line therapy (ORR 42%, median OS 12.7 mths). The efficacy of DAC, both in first line and as salvage therapy, may probably be improved with combined treatment strategies and/or with different DAC schedules that could increase its anti-leukemic effect.

Reda G, Riva M, Fattizzo B, et al.
Bone Marrow Fibrosis and Early Hematological Response as Predictors of Poor Outcome in Azacitidine Treated High Risk-Patients With Myelodysplastic Syndromes or Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Semin Hematol. 2018; 55(4):202-208 [PubMed] Related Publications
Azacitidine (AZA) treatment is effective treatment for patients with myeloid disorders, and factors predictive of treatment outcome are under investigation. Little is known about the effect of bone marrow fibrosis on response to AZA therapy. We, retrospectively, evaluated clinical predictors of overall survival (OS) and overall response rate (ORR) for patients treated with AZA in a real-life cohort. We evaluated 94 consecutive patients treated with AZA outside of clinical trials (75mg/m

Jiang Z, Cinti C, Taranta M, et al.
Network assessment of demethylation treatment in melanoma: Differential transcriptome-methylome and antigen profile signatures.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(11):e0206686 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In melanoma, like in other cancers, both genetic alterations and epigenetic underlie the metastatic process. These effects are usually measured by changes in both methylome and transcriptome profiles, whose cross-correlation remains uncertain. We aimed to assess at systems scale the significance of epigenetic treatment in melanoma cells with different metastatic potential.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: Treatment by DAC demethylation with 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine of two melanoma cell lines endowed with different metastatic potential, SKMEL-2 and HS294T, was performed and high-throughput coupled RNA-Seq and RRBS-Seq experiments delivered differential profiles (DiP) of both transcriptomes and methylomes. Methylation levels measured at both TSS and gene body were studied to inspect correlated patterns with wide-spectrum transcript abundance levels quantified in both protein coding and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) regions. The DiP were then mapped onto standard bio-annotation sources (pathways, biological processes) and network configurations were obtained. The prioritized associations for target identification purposes were expected to elucidate the reprogramming dynamics induced by the epigenetic therapy. The interactomic connectivity maps of each cell line were formed to support the analysis of epigenetically re-activated genes. i.e. those supposedly silenced by melanoma. In particular, modular protein interaction networks (PIN) were used, evidencing a limited number of shared annotations, with an example being MAPK13 (cascade of cellular responses evoked by extracellular stimuli). This gene is also a target associated to the PANDAR ncRNA, therapeutically relevant because of its aberrant expression observed in various cancers. Overall, the non-metastatic SKMEL-2 map reveals post-treatment re-activation of a richer pathway landscape, involving cadherins and integrins as signatures of cell adhesion and proliferation. Relatively more lncRNAs were also annotated, indicating more complex regulation patterns in view of target identification. Finally, the antigen maps matched to DiP display other differential signatures with respect to the metastatic potential of the cell lines. In particular, as demethylated melanomas show connected targets that grow with the increased metastatic potential, also the potential target actionability seems to depend to some degree on the metastatic state. However, caution is required when assessing the direct influence of re-activated genes over the identified targets. In light of the stronger treatment effects observed in non-metastatic conditions, some limitations likely refer to in silico data integration tools and resources available for the analysis of tumor antigens.
CONCLUSION: Demethylation treatment strongly affects early melanoma progression by re-activating many genes. This evidence suggests that the efficacy of this type of therapeutic intervention is potentially high at the pre-metastatic stages. The biomarkers that can be assessed through antigens seem informative depending on the metastatic conditions, and networks help to elucidate the assessment of possible targets actionability.

Blagitko-Dorfs N, Schlosser P, Greve G, et al.
Combination treatment of acute myeloid leukemia cells with DNMT and HDAC inhibitors: predominant synergistic gene downregulation associated with gene body demethylation.
Leukemia. 2019; 33(4):945-956 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (DNMTi) approved for older AML patients are clinically tested in combination with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi). The mechanism of action of these drugs is still under debate. In colon cancer cells, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC) can downregulate oncogenes and metabolic genes by reversing gene body DNA methylation, thus implicating gene body methylation as a novel drug target. We asked whether DAC-induced gene body demethylation in AML cells is also associated with gene repression, and whether the latter is enhanced by HDACi.Transcriptome analyses revealed that a combined treatment with DAC and the HDACi panobinostat or valproic acid affected significantly more transcripts than the sum of the genes regulated by either treatment alone, demonstrating a quantitative synergistic effect on genome-wide expression in U937 cells. This effect was particularly striking for downregulated genes. Integrative methylome and transcriptome analyses showed that a massive downregulation of genes, including oncogenes (e.g., MYC) and epigenetic modifiers (e.g., KDM2B, SUV39H1) often overexpressed in cancer, was associated predominantly with gene body DNA demethylation and changes in acH3K9/27. These findings have implications for the mechanism of action of combined epigenetic treatments, and for a better understanding of responses in trials where this approach is clinically tested.

Sandberg DI, Yu B, Patel R, et al.
Infusion of 5-Azacytidine (5-AZA) into the fourth ventricle or resection cavity in children with recurrent posterior Fossa Ependymoma: a pilot clinical trial.
J Neurooncol. 2019; 141(2):449-457 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: DNA methylation inhibitors are logical therapeutic candidates for ependymomas originating in the posterior fossa of the brain. Our objective was to test the safety of infusing 5-Azacytidine (5-AZA), a DNA methylation inhibitor, directly into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) spaces of the fourth ventricle or tumor resection cavity in children with recurrent ependymoma originating in the posterior fossa.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In patients with recurrent ependymoma whose disease originated in the posterior fossa, a maximal safe subtotal tumor resection was performed. At the conclusion of the tumor resection, a catheter was surgically placed into the fourth ventricle or tumor resection cavity and attached to a ventricular access device. CSF flow from the posterior fossa to the sacrum was confirmed by CINE phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) postoperatively. 12 consecutive weekly 10 milligram (mg) infusions of 5-Azacytidine (AZA) were planned. Disease response was monitored with MRI scans and CSF cytology.
RESULTS: Six patients were enrolled. One patient was withdrawn prior to planned 5-AZA infusions due to surgical complications after tumor resection. The remaining five patients received 8, 12, 12, 12, and 12 infusions, respectively. There were no serious adverse events or new neurological deficits attributed to 5-AZA infusions. All five patients with ependymoma who received 5-AZA infusions had progressive disease. Two of the five patients, however, were noted to have decrease in the size of at least one intraventricular lesion.
CONCLUSION: 5-AZA can be infused into the fourth ventricle or posterior fossa tumor resection cavity without causing neurological toxicity. Future studies with higher doses and/or increased dosing frequency are warranted.

Platzbecker U, Middeke JM, Sockel K, et al.
Measurable residual disease-guided treatment with azacitidine to prevent haematological relapse in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukaemia (RELAZA2): an open-label, multicentre, phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2018; 19(12):1668-1679 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Monitoring of measurable residual disease (MRD) in patients with advanced myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) who achieve a morphological complete remission can predict haematological relapse. In this prospective study, we aimed to determine whether MRD-guided pre-emptive treatment with azacitidine could prevent relapse in these patients.
METHODS: The relapse prevention with azacitidine (RELAZA2) study is an open-label, multicentre, phase 2 trial done at nine university health centres in Germany. Patients aged 18 years or older with advanced MDS or AML, who had achieved a complete remission after conventional chemotherapy or allogeneic haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation, were prospectively screened for MRD during 24 months from baseline by either quantitative PCR for mutant NPM1, leukaemia-specific fusion genes (DEK-NUP214, RUNX1-RUNX1T1, CBFb-MYH11), or analysis of donor-chimaerism in flow cytometry-sorted CD34-positive cells in patients who received allogeneic haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation. MRD-positive patients in confirmed complete remission received azacitidine 75 mg/m
FINDINGS: Between Oct 10, 2011, and Aug 20, 2015, we screened 198 patients with advanced MDS (n=26) or AML (n=172), of whom 60 (30%) developed MRD during the 24-month screening period and 53 (88%) were eligible to start study treatment. 6 months after initiation of azacitidine, 31 (58%, 95% CI 44-72) of 53 patients were relapse-free and alive (p<0·0001; one-sided binomial test for null hypothesis p
INTERPRETATION: Pre-emptive therapy with azacitidine can prevent or substantially delay haematological relapse in MRD-positive patients with MDS or AML who are at high risk of relapse. Our study also suggests that continuous MRD negativity during regular MRD monitoring might be prognostic for patient outcomes.
FUNDING: Celgene Pharma, José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), and German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) Foundation.

Pollyea DA, Stevens BM, Jones CL, et al.
Venetoclax with azacitidine disrupts energy metabolism and targets leukemia stem cells in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
Nat Med. 2018; 24(12):1859-1866 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common acute leukemia in adults. Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) drive the initiation and perpetuation of AML, are quantifiably associated with worse clinical outcomes, and often persist after conventional chemotherapy resulting in relapse

Roosendaal J, Rosing H, Lucas L, et al.
Development, validation, and clinical application of a high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay for the quantification of total intracellular β-decitabine nucleotides and genomic DNA incorporated β-decitabine and 5-methyl-2'-deoxycytidine.
J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2019; 164:16-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA hypermethylation is an epigenetic event that is commonly found in malignant cells and is used as a therapeutic target for β-decitabine (β-DEC) containing hypomethylating agents (eg Dacogen® and guadecitabine). β-DEC requires cellular uptake and intracellular metabolic activation to β-DEC triphosphate before it can get incorporated into the DNA. Once incorporated in the DNA, β-DEC can exert its hypomethylating effect by trapping DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), resulting in reduced 5-methyl-2'-deoxycytidine (5mdC) DNA content. β-DEC DNA incorporation and its effect on DNA methylation, however, have not yet been investigated in patients treated with β-DEC containing therapies. For this reason, we developed and validated a sensitive and selective LC-MS/MS method to determine total intracellular β-DEC nucleotide (β-DEC-XP) concentrations, as well as to quantify β-DEC and 5mdC DNA incorporation relative to 2'-deoxycytidine (2dC) DNA content. The assay was successfully validated according to FDA and EMA guidelines in a linear range from 0.5 to 100 ng/mL (β-DEC), 50 to 10,000 ng/mL (2dC), and 5 to 1,000 ng/mL (5mdC) in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) lysate. An additional calibrator at a concentration of 0.1 ng/mL was added for β-DEC to serve as a limit of detection (LOD). Clinical applicability of the method was demonstrated in patients treated with guadecitabine. Our data support the use of the validated LC-MS/MS method to further explore the intracellular pharmacokinetics in patients treated with β-DEC containing hypomethylating agents.

Döhner H, Dolnik A, Tang L, et al.
Cytogenetics and gene mutations influence survival in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia treated with azacitidine or conventional care.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(12):2546-2557 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2020 Related Publications
Older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in the phase 3 AZA-AML-001 study were evaluated at entry for cytogenetic abnormalities, and a subgroup of patients was assessed for gene mutations. Patients received azacitidine 75 mg/m

Onec B, Okutan H, Albayrak M, et al.
Combination therapy with azacitidine, etoposide, and cytarabine in the treatment of elderly acute myeloid leukemia patients: A single center experience.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2018 Jul-Sep; 14(5):1105-1111 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aims: The prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in elderly patients is worse due to age and comorbidities. Lately, monotherapy with hypomethylating agents like azacitidine (Aza) has been used to prolong overall survival (OS) in AML patients. Herein, we present a retrospective study investigating treatment responses and OS of Aza in combination with etoposide (Eto) and cytarabine (ARA-C) in elderly.
Materials and Methods: In this study, therapies and outcomes of 37 newly diagnosed AML patients, >60 years old, and ineligible for intensive chemotherapy were investigated retrospectively. Patients were grouped according to the treatments they received as follows - Group 1: low-dose conventional therapies as hydroxyurea, low-dose ARA-C, or best supportive care (n = 11); Group 2: Aza alone (n = 6); Group 3: Aza in combination with Eto and ARA-C (Aza + Eto + ARA-C, n = 20).
Results: It was found that an Aza + Eto + ARA-C combination therapy had significantly better overall response rates (P = 0.002). Combination group had significantly better OS than Group 1 (8 months vs. 1 month, P < 0.001), the difference between combination and monotherapy was not significant. The OS was also associated with age and performance status, but the difference was still statistically significant after adjustment for these factors, especially for patients with younger age and better performance.
Conclusions: We concluded that combination therapy of Aza with Eto and ARA-C increases response rates, and prolong survival for this poor prognosed patient group. We believe that larger controlled studies investigating Aza combinations with other antileukemic drugs will contribute to the development of tolerable treatment protocols for elderly AML patients.

Karakulska-Prystupiuk E, Drozd-Sokołowska J, Waszczuk-Gajda A, et al.
Azacitidine for Relapse After Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation-Single-Center Study.
Transplant Proc. 2018; 50(7):2212-2217 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Relapse is the leading cause of treatment failure for myeloid malignancies treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Treatment options are very limited and use of azacitidine is one of the available options.
METHODS: This was a retrospective, single-institution study. Of 28 evaluated patients, 18 were males, and the median age was 60 years (range, 15-78). There were 15 patients with acute myeloid leukemia, 8 with myelodysplastic syndrome, 4 with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, and 1 with primary myelofibrosis. Ten patients received azacitidine for overt relapse, 14 received it as a preemptive therapy, and 4 others received it as maintenance treatment after allo-hematopoietic cell transplant (HSCT). Eleven patients received a donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI).
RESULTS: The patients received median 5 (1-9) cycles of azacitidine in preemptive and maintenance therapy and median 2.5 (1-9) cycles in patients with relapse. Thirty-nine percent of patients received DLIs. Median overall survival was 6.1 months (95% CI, 0.7-13) for relapse therapy vs 21.2 months (95% CI, 8.4-inf) for preemptive therapy. Among patients treated for relapse, 30% achieved temporary disease control and underwent the second allo-HSCT. A complete, cytogenetic remission was achieved in 50% of patients and stable minimal residual disease in 14% of patients in a group with preemptive therapy. Toxicity was considerable; neutropenia (71%), anemia (14%), thrombocytopenia (36%), and serious infections (36%) were observed in the preemptive setting.
CONCLUSIONS: These data support the notion that azacitidine is best used as a preemptive therapy against relapse for patients after allo-HSCT performed for myeloid malignancy. Applying azacitidine as therapy for ongoing relapse after allo-HSCT may lead to stable disease and allow for better performance of the second allo-HSCT.

Kadia TM, Cortes J, Ravandi F, et al.
Cladribine and low-dose cytarabine alternating with decitabine as front-line therapy for elderly patients with acute myeloid leukaemia: a phase 2 single-arm trial.
Lancet Haematol. 2018; 5(9):e411-e421 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Front-line therapy for elderly or unfit patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) remains unsatisfactory with poor outcomes and excessive toxicity. We studied a new low-intensity regimen of cladribine combined with low-dose cytarabine alternating with decitabine, aimed at improving outcomes in this population. Based on our previous experience, we hypothesised that this combination would be safe and more effective than current approaches with hypomethylating agents.
METHODS: In this single-arm, open-label, single-centre phase 2 study, we enrolled patients aged 60 years or older with previously untreated AML or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome who had adequate organ function and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2 or less. Patients were treated with cladribine plus low-dose cytarabine for two 28-day cycles alternating with decitabine for two 28-day cycles, for up to 18 cycles. Induction therapy (cycle 1) consisted of cladribine 5 mg/m
FINDINGS: Between Feb 17, 2012, and July 6, 2017, 118 patients were enrolled and treated, among whom 48 (41%) had an adverse karyotype, 20 (17%) had therapy-related AML, 18 (15%) had treated secondary AML, and 20 (17%) had TP53 mutations. Median disease-free survival was 10·8 months (IQR 5·4-25·9). 80 (68%) patients achieved objective response: 69 (58%) achieved a complete response and 11 (9%) patients had complete response with incomplete count recovery. The median overall survival was 13·8 months (6·9-28·6). The regimen was well tolerated, with one (1%) death within the first 4 weeks and eight (7%) deaths within the first 8 weeks. The most common non-haematological adverse events of grade 3 or worse were infection (88 [75%] patients), elevated total bilirubin (26 [22%] patients), rash (13 [11%] patients), and nausea (13 [11%] patients).
INTERPRETATION: The combination of cladribine and low-dose cytarabine alternating with decitabine appears to be a safe and highly effective regimen for the treatment of elderly or unfit patients with newly diagnosed AML. Further testing of this regimen is warranted, and could help to provide a new, effective option for reduced-intensity therapy in this population.
FUNDING: Part supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Shah UA, Chung EY, Giricz O, et al.
North American ATLL has a distinct mutational and transcriptional profile and responds to epigenetic therapies.
Blood. 2018; 132(14):1507-1518 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 04/10/2019 Related Publications
Adult T-cell leukemia lymphoma (ATLL) is a rare T cell neoplasm that is endemic in Japanese, Caribbean, and Latin American populations. Most North American ATLL patients are of Caribbean descent and are characterized by high rates of chemo-refractory disease and worse prognosis compared with Japanese ATLL. To determine genomic differences between these 2 cohorts, we performed targeted exon sequencing on 30 North American ATLL patients and compared the results with the Japanese ATLL cases. Although the frequency of TP53 mutations was comparable, the mutation frequency in epigenetic and histone modifying genes (57%) was significantly higher, whereas the mutation frequency in JAK/STAT and T-cell receptor/NF-κB pathway genes was significantly lower. The most common type of epigenetic mutation is that affecting EP300 (20%). As a category, epigenetic mutations were associated with adverse prognosis. Dissimilarities with the Japanese cases were also revealed by RNA sequencing analysis of 9 primary patient samples. ATLL samples with a mutated EP300 gene have decreased total and acetyl p53 protein and a transcriptional signature reminiscent of p53-mutated cancers. Most importantly, decitabine has highly selective single-agent activity in the EP300-mutated ATLL samples, suggesting that decitabine treatment induces a synthetic lethal phenotype in EP300-mutated ATLL cells. In conclusion, we demonstrate that North American ATLL has a distinct genomic landscape that is characterized by frequent epigenetic mutations that are targetable preclinically with DNA methyltransferase inhibitors.

Wehmeyer J, Zaiss M, Losem C, et al.
Impact of performance status and transfusion dependency on outcome of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, acute myeloid leukemia and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia treated with azacitidine (PIAZA study).
Eur J Haematol. 2018; 101(6):766-773 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Azacitidine (Vidaza
METHOD: Patients were treated according to physician's discretion. Besides evaluation of safety and effectiveness, impact of covariates on progression-free survival (PFS) was assessed.
RESULTS: Median age of patients was 75 years. 61.1% of patients were diagnosed with MDS, 31.5% with AML and 7.4% with CMML. Patients were treated with azacitidine for a median of seven cycles. Median PFS was 10.9 months. Median OS was 14.1 months. Two-year survival rate was 28.9%. 45.9% of patients showed CR or PR. Stable and progressive disease were observed in 37.2% and 8% of patients, respectively. Transfusion independence was reported in 64 of 89 patients. Eastern cooperative oncology group (ECOG) performance status (PS) and red blood cell (RBC) transfusion before azacitidine therapy were identified as predictive factors for PFS.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we estimated the duration of PFS in a real-world setting and identified ECOG PS and RBC transfusion as predictive factors for PFS. The safety of azacitidine showed a similar profile as demonstrated in the pivotal clinical trials.

Wang H, Li Y, Lv N, et al.
Predictors of clinical responses to hypomethylating agents in acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes.
Ann Hematol. 2018; 97(11):2025-2038 [PubMed] Related Publications
Azacitidine and decitabine, two hypomethylating agents, are known to be effective in the treatment of high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients who cannot endure intensive cytotoxic chemotherapy or are not eligible for transplantation. However, the treatment response rate is low. The molecular mechanisms underlying the resistance to demethylation therapy are unclear. Though a wide range of predictors of treatment response have been investigated, no consensus has been reached. It is imperative to identify certain parameters that can help distinguish between patients who will obtain a favorable outcome from demethylation therapy and those who will not. Here, we describe currently researched potential predictors based on clinical characteristics, DNA methylation, gene mutation, gene expression, microRNAs, and protein expression. Although these parameters are not currently used in clinical practice, this review provides new sights into available clinical and experimental research. Moreover, this paper provides useful information on AML/MDS management.

Gao X, Sheng Y, Yang J, et al.
Osteopontin alters DNA methylation through up-regulating DNMT1 and sensitizes CD133+/CD44+ cancer stem cells to 5 azacytidine in hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):179 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 04/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), CD133+/CD44+ cells are one subgroup with high stemness and responsible for metastatic relapse and resistance to treatment. Our previous studies have demonstrated that osteopontin (OPN) plays critical roles in HCC metastasis. We further investigated the molecular mechanism underlying the role of OPN in regulating the stemness of HCC epigenetically and explored possible targeting strategy.
METHODS: CD133+/CD44+ subgroup sorting from HCC cell lines and HCC tissues was used to investigate the effects of OPN knockdown on stemness. iTRAQ and MedIP-sequencing were applied to detect the protein profile and epigenetic modification of CD133+/CD44+ subgroup with or without OPN knockdown. The antitumor effects of 5 Azacytidine were examined in cultured HCC cells and patient derived xenograft (PDX) models.
RESULTS: OPN was accumulated in CD133+/CD44+ subgroup of HCC cells. Knocking down OPN significantly inhibited the sphere formation and stemness-related genes expression, and delayed tumor initiation of CD133+/CD44+ subgroup of HCC cells. Employing MedIP-sequencing, dot blot and iTRAQ analyses of CD133+/CD44+ SCR and CD133+/CD44+ shOPN cells, we found that OPN knockdown leaded to reduction in DNA methylation with particular enrichment in CGI. Meanwhile, DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), the main methylation maintainer, was downregulated via proteomics analysis, which mediated OPN altering DNA methylation. Furthermore, DNMT1 upregulation could partially rescue the properties of CD133+/CD44+ shOPN cells. Both in vitro and in vivo assays showed that CD133+/CD44+ cells with high OPN levels were more sensitive to DNA methylation inhibitor, 5 Azacytidine (5 Aza). The above findings were validated in HCC primary cells, a more clinically relevant model.
CONCLUSIONS: OPN induces methylome reprogramming to enhance the stemness of CD133+/CD44+ subgroup and provides the therapeutic benefits to DNMT1 targeting treatment in HCC.

Sommer S, Cruijsen M, Claus R, et al.
Decitabine in combination with donor lymphocyte infusions can induce remissions in relapsed myeloid malignancies with higher leukemic burden after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Leuk Res. 2018; 72:20-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
The combination of 5-azacytidine (AZA) with donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) can induce remissions in patients with relapsed myeloid malignancies after allo-HCT. As decitabine (DAC) is known to be effective also in AML/MDS with leukocytosis, we investigated the combination of DAC with DLIs for relapse after allo-HCT. Between 2006 and 2016, 26 patients (median age 59 years) with AML (n = 18), MDS (n = 6), or MPN (n = 2) and overt hematological relapse after allo-HCT were treated. Median duration from allo-HCT to relapse was 306 days (range, 76-4943). Eighteen patients received DAC + DLIs, 8 DAC-only (median number cycles of DAC: 2, range 1-13, median number of DLIs: 2, range 1-10). The incidence of acute and chronic GvHD in patients receiving DLI was 17% (3/18) and 6% (1/18), respectively. CR/CRi was achieved in 15% (4/26), PR in 4% (1/26), and stable disease in 58% (15/26) of patients. Eight patients received a second allo-HCT. Median overall survival was 4.7 months. Elevated PD-L1 protein expression in bone marrow cells was detected in 4/8 patients with >20% blast infiltration prior to DAC, without a clear association with response. In conclusion, the DAC + DLI regimen proved feasible and effective in relapsed myeloid malignancies after allo-HCT, with efficacy not restricted to patients with low leukemic burden.

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