AML= acute myelogenous leukemia
Strategies for maintenance therapy in AML have been difficult to achieve because of the toxicity associated with the agents used. Decitabine has been used successfully to treat patients with a number of myeloid disorders and at the lower doses has been associated with very limited extramedullary toxicity. As such, decitabine is an ideal agent to be investigated in this setting. Furthermore, the hypomethylating effects of decitabine require an extended period of therapy and are likely to be more beneficial in the setting of a minimal disease burden.
This approach is being tested in a randomized study, NCT0039S8893 for AML. The strategy is otherwise untested, except for phase II studies in MDS. MDS triggers an overproduction of abnormal blood cells that eventually outnumber their healthy counterparts. Many patients diagnosed with MDS are at risk of developing leukemia. In order to block the progression of MDS and to prevent the occurrence of leukemia, most patients receive treatments with decitabine, a newly approved drug for MDS but not AML drug that is currently under testing.