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Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to investigate the safety and effectiveness of the combination of pracinostat and azacitidine in patients aged over 65 with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia.

This study concluded that this combination is a safe and effective for treating this group of patients.  

Some background

Pracinostat is a new drug that has anti-tumor activity. It has been shown to have activity in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Azacitidine (Vidaza) is a chemotherapy that can be used to treat AML. When combined these treatments work together for a better response.

It is not known if this combination would be both safe and effective for older patients with newly diagnosed AML.

Methods & findings

This study involved 50 patients aged 65 and over with newly diagnosed AML. They were not eligible for standard chemotherapy. Patients received both pracinostat and azacitidine. They were followed up for an average of 23.8 months.

42% of patients achieved a complete response (complete disappearance of all signs of cancer). 4% of patients achieved a complete response with incomplete recovery of blood cell counts. 6% of patients achieved a disappearance of all cells with morphologic characteristics of leukemia.

The average overall survival was 19.1 months. The average survival without cancer growing or spreading was 12.6 months. 62% of patients were alive 1 year after treatment.

86% of patients experienced at least one severe or life-threatening side effect due to the treatment. Of those affected, 52% experienced infections, 46% experienced low platelet (blood cells involved in clotting) count, and 44% experienced low white blood cell count with fever. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that the combination of pracinostat and azacitidine is safe and effective for treating older patients with AML unfit for standard intensive therapy.

The fine print

This was a small study on a small number of patients. A larger study is ongoing.

Published By :

Blood advances

Date :

Feb 26, 2019

Original Title :
Pracinostat plus azacitidine in older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia: results of a phase 2 study.
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