PURPOSE: To determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), safety, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles, and clinical activity of an oral formulation of azacitidine in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs), chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), or acute myeloid leukemia (AML). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients received 1 cycle of subcutaneous (SC) azacitidine (75 mg/m2) on the first 7 days of cycle 1, followed by oral azacitidine daily (120 to 600 mg) on the first 7 days of each additional 28-day cycle. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles were evaluated during cycles 1 and 2. Adverse events and hematologic responses were recorded. Cross-over to SC azacitidine was permitted for nonresponders who received ≥ 6 cycles of oral azacitidine. RESULTS: Overall, 41 patients received SC and oral azacitidine (MDSs, n = 29; CMML, n = 4; AML, n = 8). Dose-limiting toxicity (grade 3/4 diarrhea) occurred at the 600-mg dose and MTD was 480 mg. Most common grade 3/4 adverse events were diarrhea (12.2%), nausea (7.3%), vomiting (7.3%), febrile neutropenia (19.5%), and fatigue (9.8%). Azacitidine exposure increased with escalating oral doses. Mean relative oral bioavailability ranged from 6.3% to 20%. Oral and SC azacitidine decreased DNA methylation in blood, with maximum effect at day 15 of each cycle. Hematologic responses occurred in patients with MDSs and CMML. Overall response rate (i.e., complete remission, hematologic improvement, or RBC or platelet transfusion independence) was 35% in previously treated patients and 73% in previously untreated patients. CONCLUSION: Oral azacitidine was bioavailable and demonstrated biologic and clinical activity in patients with MDSs and CMML.