The combination of a DNA hypomethylating agent with a histone deacetylase inhibitor has synergistic antileukemia activity and may restore sensitivity to all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). We conducted a phase 1/2 study of the combination of 5-azacitidine (5-AZA), valproic acid (VPA), and ATRA in patients with acute myeloid leukemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome. 5-AZA was administered subcutaneously at a fixed dose of 75 mg/m2 daily for 7 days. VPA was dose-escalated and given orally daily for 7 days concomitantly with 5-AZA. ATRA was given at 45 mg/m2 orally daily for 5 days, starting on day 3. A total of 53 patients were treated. Their median age was 69 years (range, 5-84 years). The maximum tolerated dose of VPA in this combination was 50 mg/kg daily for 7 days. Dose-limiting toxicity was reversible neurotoxicity. The overall response rate was 42%. In previously untreated older patients, the response rate was 52%. Median number of courses to response was 1 (range, 1-3 courses). Median remission duration was 26 weeks, and median survival has not been reached. A significant decrease in global DNA methylation and induction of histone acetylation were achieved. VPA blood levels were higher in responders (P < .005). In conclusion, the combination studied is safe and has significant clinical activity. This clinical trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as no. NCT00326170.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology