We investigated the combination of midostaurin and azacitidine (AZA) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and high risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Patients received AZA 75 mg m-2 on days 1-7 and midostaurin 25 mg bid (in cohort 1 of phase I) or 50 mg bid (in cohort 2 of Phase I and in Phase II) orally on day 8-21 during the first cycle and continuously thereafter. Fourteen patients were enrolled in the phase I and 40 in the phase II. Overall response rate was 26%. The median remission duration (RD) was 20 weeks and was significantly longer in patients with FLT3 mutations not previously exposed to other FLT3 inhibitors (P=0.05) and in patients not previously transplanted (P=0.01). Thirty-two (59%) patients have died, all of complications related to disease progression. G3-4 nonhematological toxicity was reported in 38 (70%) patients, most frequently infections (56%), ejection fraction reduction (11%), and diarrhea or nausea/vomiting (9% each). The combination of midostaurin and AZA is an effective and safe regimen in patients with AML and high-risk MDS. Patients with FLT3 mutations but not previously exposed to other FLT3 inhibitors and patients not previously transplanted derived the greatest benefit. Further studies with this combination are warranted.
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