Oral decitabine-cedazuridine versus intravenous decitabine for myelodysplastic syndromes and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (ASCERTAIN): a registrational, randomised, crossover, pharmacokinetics, phase 3 study | Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation Return to top.

Oral decitabine-cedazuridine versus intravenous decitabine for myelodysplastic syndromes and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (ASCERTAIN): a registrational, randomised, crossover, pharmacokinetics, phase 3 study

Journal Title: 
Lancet Hematology
Primary Author: 
Garcia-Manero G
Author(s): 
Garcia-Manero G, McCloskey J, Griffiths EA, Yee KWL, Zeidan AM, Al-Kali A, Deeg HJ, Patel PA, Sabloff M, Keating MM, Zhu N, Gabrail NY, Fazal S, Maly J, Odenike O, Kantarjian H, DeZern AE, O'Connell CL, Roboz GJ, Busque L, Buckstein R, Amin H, Randhawa J, Leber B, Shastri A, Dao KH, Oganesian A, Hao Y, Keer HN, Azab M, Savona MR
Original Publication Date: 
Thursday, January 11, 2024

Background: The DNA methyltransferase inhibitors azacitidine and decitabine for individuals with myelodysplastic syndromes or chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia are available in parenteral form. Oral therapy with similar exposure for these diseases would offer potential treatment benefits. We aimed to compare the safety and pharmacokinetics of oral decitabine plus the cytidine deaminase inhibitor cedazuridine versus intravenous decitabine.

Methods: We did a registrational, multicentre, open-label, crossover, phase 3 trial of individuals with myelodysplastic syndromes or chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia and individuals with acute myeloid leukaemia, enrolled as separate cohorts; results for only participants with myelodysplastic syndromes or chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia are reported here. In 37 academic and community-based clinics in Canada and the USA, we enrolled individuals aged 18 years or older who were candidates to receive intravenous decitabine, with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 or 1 and a life expectancy of at least 3 months. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive 5 days of oral decitabine-cedazuridine (one tablet once daily containing 35 mg decitabine and 100 mg cedazuridine as a fixed-dose combination) or intravenous decitabine (20 mg/m2 per day by continuous 1-h intravenous infusion) in a 28-day treatment cycle, followed by 5 days of the other formulation in the next treatment cycle. Thereafter, all participants received oral decitabine-cedazuridine from the third cycle on until treatment discontinuation. The primary endpoint was total decitabine exposure over 5 days with oral decitabine-cedazuridine versus intravenous decitabine for cycles 1 and 2, measured as area under the curve in participants who received the full treatment dose in cycles 1 and 2 and had decitabine daily AUC0-24 for both oral decitabine-cedazuridine and intravenous decitabine (ie, paired cycles). On completion of the study, all patients were rolled over to a maintenance study. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03306264.

Findings: Between Feb 8, 2018, and June 7, 2021, 173 individuals were screened, 138 (80%) participants were randomly assigned to a treatment sequence, and 133 (96%) participants (87 [65%] men and 46 [35%] women; 121 [91%] White, four [3%] Black or African-American, three [2%] Asian, and five [4%] not reported) received treatment. Median follow-up was 966 days (IQR 917-1050). Primary endpoint of total exposure of oral decitabine-cedazuridine versus intravenous decitabine was 98·93% (90% CI 92·66-105·60), indicating equivalent pharmacokinetic exposure on the basis of area under the curve. The safety profiles of oral decitabine-cedazuridine and intravenous decitabine were similar. The most frequent adverse events of grade 3 or worse were thrombocytopenia (81 [61%] of 133 participants), neutropenia (76 [57%] participants), and anaemia (67 [50%] participants). The incidence of serious adverse events in cycles 1-2 was 31% (40 of 130 participants) with oral decitabine-cedazuridine and 18% (24 of 132 participants) with intravenous decitabine. There were five treatment-related deaths; two deemed related to oral therapy (sepsis and pneumonia) and three to intravenous treatment (septic shock [n=2] and pneumonia [n=1]).

Interpretation: Oral decitabine-cedazuridine was pharmacologically and pharmacodynamically equivalent to intravenous decitabine. The results support use of oral decitabine-cedazuridine as a safe and effective alternative to intravenous decitabine for treatment of individuals with myelodysplastic syndromes or chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia.

Funding: Astex Pharmaceuticals.

Bone Marrow Disease(s): 
  • myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
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