This research is being done to help us learn how to best use new drugs which may be active against acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Two study drugs will be tested: 5AC (5-azacitidine) and entinostat. 5AC improves blood counts in 50 - 60% of patients with MDS and has also shown promise in AML. Entinostat has undergone early testing in patients with MDS and AML. It has decreased the blast count in some patients' blood and bone marrow and has improved the blood counts in some patients. The combinations of these two classes of drugs are well tolerated and appear to work well together in laboratory tests.
A recent study at Johns Hopkins University administered 5AC and entinostat in an overlapping schedule to patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMMoL), and AML. The impressive results from this study have led to another phase II trial to further examine this drug combination versus 5AC alone in these patients. In this study, we want to see how the timing of when 5AC and entinostat are given affects the magnitude of the disease response.