Research Papers:

Comparison of the modified low-dose cytarabine and etoposide with decitabine therapy for elderly acute myeloid leukemia patients unfit for intensive chemotherapy

Seung-Hwan Shin, Byung-Sik Cho, Sung-Soo Park, Sung-Yeon Cho, Young-Woo Jeon, Jae-Ho Yoon, Seung-Ah Yahng, Sung-Eun Lee, Dong-Gun Lee, Ki-Seong Eom, Yoo-Jin Kim, Seok Lee, Chang-Ki Min, Seok-Goo Cho, Dong-Wook Kim, Jong-Wook Lee, Woo-Sung Min and Hee-Je Kim _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:5823-5833. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23629

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Seung-Hwan Shin1,*, Byung-Sik Cho2,*, Sung-Soo Park2, Sung-Yeon Cho3, Young-Woo Jeon2, Jae-Ho Yoon2, Seung-Ah Yahng4, Sung-Eun Lee2, Dong-Gun Lee3, Ki-Seong Eom2, Yoo-Jin Kim2, Seok Lee2, Chang-Ki Min2, Seok-Goo Cho2, Dong-Wook Kim2, Jong-Wook Lee2, Woo-Sung Min2 and Hee-Je Kim2

1Department of Hematology, Yeouido St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Department of Hematology, Catholic Blood and Marrow Transplantation Center, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Leukemia Research Institute, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

3Department of Infectious Disease, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

4Department of Hematology, Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Hee-Je Kim, email: [email protected]

Keywords: elderly acute myeloid leukemia; modified low-dose cytarabine; etoposide; decitabine; low-intensity chemotherapy

Received: June 01, 2017     Accepted: November 04, 2017     Published: December 23, 2017


To overcome unsatisfactory results of classical low-dose cytarabine (LDAC) of cytarabine ≤20 mg twice daily (BID) subcutaneously for 10 days for patients with elderly acute myeloid leukemia (eAML), we evaluated a modified LDAC (mLDAC) of cytarabine 20 mg/m2 BID subcutaneously plus etoposide 50 mg BID orally for 14 days. To determine its feasibility, we compared outcomes of 77 and 42 eAML patients who received, respectively, mLDAC and decitabine (DAC; 20 mg/m2 intravenously daily for 5 days), which has shown better outcomes compared to those of classical LDAC. Most of baseline characteristics of two groups were well balanced. The mLDAC group had a higher complete response (CR) rate compared to the DAC group (46.8% vs. 19.0%, P < 0.01). Unlike the classical LDAC, mLDAC induced CR in patients with adverse cytogenetics, with its rate similar to that of the DAC group (33.3% vs. 20.0%; P = 0.58). Meanwhile, mucositis, neutropenic fever and invasive aspergillosis were more frequently observed in the mLDAC group, with no difference in early mortality between two groups (P > 0.05). The median overall survival rates of the mLDAC and DAC groups were comparable (8.7 vs 8.3 months, respectively, P = 0.35), presumably because the advantage of higher CR rate in the mLDAC group was offset by beneficial effects of marrow response, which is observed dominantly in the DAC group. Our results suggested that the outcomes of classical LDAC could be improved by modest modifications, to be comparable to those of DAC.

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