This study investigated the efficacy and safety of azacitidine maintenance in the posttransplant setting based on the encouraging phase 1/2 reports for azacitidine maintenance in patients with acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (AML/MDS). Between 2009 and 2017, a total of 187 patients aged 18 to 75 years were entered into a randomized controlled study of posttransplant azacitidine if they were in complete remission. Patients randomized to the treatment arm (n = 93) were scheduled to receive azacitidine, given as 32 mg/m2 per day subcutaneously for 5 days every 28 days for 12 cycles. The control arm (n = 94) had no intervention. Eighty-seven of the 93 patients started azacitidine maintenance. The median number of cycles received was 4; a total of 29 patients relapsed on study, and 23 patients withdrew from the study due to toxicity, patient's preference, or logistical reasons. Median relapse-free survival (RFS) was 2.07 years in the azacitidine group vs 1.28 years in the control group (P = .19). There was also no significant difference for overall survival, with a median of 2.52 years vs 3.56 years in the azacitidine and control groups (P = .43), respectively. Cox regression analysis revealed no improvement in RFS or overall survival with the use of azacitidine as maintenance compared with the control group (hazard ratios of 0.86 [95% confidence interval, 0.59-1.3; P = .43] and 0.84 [95% confidence interval, 0.55-1.29; P = .43]). This randomized trial with azacitidine maintenance showed that a prospective trial in the posttransplant setting was feasible and safe but challenging. Although RFS was comparable between the 2 arms, we believe the strategy of maintenance therapy merits further study with a goal to reduce the risk of relapse in patients with AML/MDS. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00887068.
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)