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Vidaza Treatment Effective And Safe In All Elderly MDS Patients (EHA 2010)

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Published: Jul 21, 2010 3:26 pm
Vidaza Treatment Effective And Safe In All Elderly MDS Patients (EHA 2010)

A recent study suggests that Vidaza is effective and safe in both lower- and higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes patients 75 years of age or older. Vidaza administered for five consecutive days was found to be the preferred dosing schedule for elderly patients.

These findings were presented at the 15th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in Barcelona, Spain, last month.

Previous studies have shown that Vidaza (azacitidine) improves overall survival in higher-risk elderly myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients (see related Beacon news article). However, little is known about Vidaza’s efficacy and side effects in lower-risk MDS patients.

American researchers analyzed data from the AVIDA registry, a United States community-based list of patients treated with Vidaza. The registry includes 434 MDS patients, 226 of which are older than 75 years. Of these 226 elderly patients, 68 percent had lower-risk MDS, and 32 percent had higher-risk MDS.

The researchers examined treatment regimens, blood cell count improvements, and side effects of the 226 elderly patients.

They found that more than half of the 226 patients (53 percent) were treated with Vidaza for five consecutive days. Sixteen percent of the elderly patients received Vidaza for seven consecutive days, and 13 percent for five consecutive days followed by two days without treatment and then two additional days with treatment.

About two-thirds (61 percent) of the elderly MDS patients showed blood cell count improvements with Vidaza treatment.

Sixty-seven percent of patients achieved red blood cell transfusion independence, and 73 percent of patients achieved platelet transfusion independence.

The most common severe side effects were low white blood cell count, low red blood cell count, and low platelet count. These side effects usually occurred during the first two cycles of treatment and became less frequent in the following cycles.

Other side effects included infections in 13 percent of patients, with pneumonia (5 percent) being the most frequent.

Researchers concluded that Vidaza was effective in improving blood cell counts and transfusion independence and was generally well-tolerated in both lower- and higher-risk elderly patients.

For more information, please see abstract 0538 at the EHA meeting website.

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