Phase II study of targeted therapy with temozolomide in acute myeloid leukaemia and high‐risk myelodysplastic syndrome patients pre‐screened for low O6‐methylguanine DNA methyltransferase expression Journal Articles uri icon

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  • SummaryResistance to temozolomide is largely mediated by the DNA repair enzyme O6‐methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT). We conducted a prospective multicentre study of patients with previously untreated acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) or high‐risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) who were not candidates for intensive therapy. Patient selection was based on MGMT expression by Western blot. Patients with MGMT:ACTB (β‐actin) ratio <0·2 were eligible to receive temozolomide 200 mg/m2/d ×7 d. Patients achieving a complete response (CR) could receive up to 12 monthly cycles of temozolomide ×5/28 d. Of 166 patients screened, 81 (49%) demonstrated low MGMT expression; 45 of these were treated with temozolomide. The overall response rate was 53%; 36% achieved complete clearance of blasts, with 27% achieving a CR/CR with incomplete platelet recovery (CRp). Factors associated with a trend toward a higher response rate included MDS, methylated MGMT promoter and standard cytogenetic risk group. Induction and post‐remission cycles were well‐tolerated and most patients were treated on an outpatient basis. Patient who achieved CR/CRp had a superior overall survival compared to partial or non‐responders. In conclusion, targeted therapy based on pre‐selection for low MGMT expression was associated with a higher response rate to temozolomide compared to previous reports of unselected patients.


  • Brandwein, Joseph M
  • Kassis, Jeannine
  • Leber, Brian
  • Hogge, Donna
  • Howson‐Jan, Kang
  • Minden, Mark D
  • Galarneau, André
  • Pouliot, Jean‐François

publication date

  • December 2014

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