Azacitidine Monotherapy in Patients With Treatment-Naïve Higher-risk Myelodysplastic Syndrome: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analysis Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: The global incidence of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) has been estimated as 0.06 to 0.26/100,000. Since their introduction, hypomethylating agents have played a central role in the treatment of MDS, with heterogeneous real-world outcomes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We assessed and synthesized clinical outcomes of azacitidine (AZA) monotherapy in treatment-naïve patients with higher-risk MDS. A systematic literature review was conducted by searching MEDLINE, Embase, and CENTRAL to identify randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and observational studies, both prospective and retrospective, reporting complete remission (CR), partial remission (PR), overall survival (OS), duration of response (DOR), time-to-response (TTR), and myelosuppressive adverse events (AEs) for patients treated with AZA monotherapy. Noncomparative meta-analyses were used to summarize effects. RESULTS: The search identified 3250 abstracts, of which 34 publications describing 16 studies (5 RCTs, 3 prospective, and 8 retrospective observational) were included. Across all studies, pooled CR was 16%; PR was 6%; Median OS was 16.4 months; median DOR was 10.1 months; median TTR was 4.6 months. Proportions of grade 3/4 anemia and thrombocytopenia AEs were 10% and 30%. CONCLUSIONS: The effectiveness and efficacy of AZA monotherapy-as measured by CR and median OS-was limited. These findings highlight a significant unmet medical need for effective treatments for patients with higher-risk MDS.


  • Hasegawa, Ken
  • Wei, Andrew H
  • Garcia-Manero, Guillermo
  • Daver, Naval G
  • Rajakumaraswamy, Nishanthan
  • Iqbal, Shahed
  • Chan, Rebecca J
  • Hu, Hao
  • Tse, Preston
  • Yan, Jiajun
  • Zoratti, Michael
  • Xie, Feng
  • Sallman, David A

publication date

  • February 2023