Abstract

Introduction. The association of Azacitidine (AZA) and Lenalidomide (LEN), either administered concurrently (Sekeres, 2010; 2012; 2017), or sequentially (Platzbecker, 2013; Di Nardo 2015; Mittelman 2016; Narayan 2016) has proven effective in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), however the optimum dose and schedule remains unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combination vs the sequential use of AZA and LEN in higher-risk MDS pts. Primary endpoint: ORR, defined as the Rate of Complete Remission (CR), Partial Remission (PR), Marrow Complete Remission (mCR), and Hematological Improvement (HI), following the IWG criteria (Cheson, 2006). Secondary endpoints: a) rate of CR; b) duration of responses; c) overall survival (OS). Methods. This is a randomized, phase II, multicenter, open label study, including pts with MDS with IPSS risk High or Intermediate-2, without previous treatment with AZA or LEN. ARM 1 (combined treatment): AZA: 75 mg/m2/day (days 1-5) I.C. + LEN: 10 mg/day (days 1-21), orally, every 4 weeks. ARM 2 (sequential treatment): AZA: 75 mg/m2/day (days 1-5) I.C. + LEN: 10 mg/day (days 6-21), orally, every 4 weeks. The induction treatment was planned for 8 cycles. For responder patients the same treatment was continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Results. From March 2013, 44 pts (27 males), median age: 72 (48-83 yrs) were enrolled, from 13 hematologic Centers. At baseline, IPSS risk was: Intermediate-2: 31 pts; High: 9 pts; not determined (N.D.) (because of lack of cytogenetic data): 2 pts. (all with RAEB-2). In 2 pts IPSS risk was Intermediate-1, but they were enrolled because of severe thrombocytopenia and neutropenia, respectively. IPSS-R risk was: intermediate: 8 pts; High: 16 pts; Very-High: 18 pts; N.D.: 2 pts. In 5 pts (11.4%) del(5q) was present (additional cytogenetic alterations: 1 in 1 pt, and > 1 in 4 pts , respectively). 21 pts were randomly assigned to ARM 1, and 23 pts to ARM 2. Treatment was given for a median of 8.5 (1-52) cycles; in ARM 1: 9 (1-51) cycles; in ARM 2: 8 (1-52) cycles, respectively. Median follow-up: 15 (2-54) months; 47 (37-54) months for survivors. 10/44 pts (22.7%) did not complete at least 6 cycles of treatment for causes other than disease progression (6 pts for adverse events, 2 pts for consent withdrawal and 2 pts for medical decision), and were not considered evaluable for response. Among the 34/44 pts (77.3%) evaluable for response, 26/34 pts (ORR: 76.5 %) showed a favourable response to treatment. Intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis: ORR: 59.1%. First response was observed after a median of 2 (1-8) cycles. The Best Response achieved was: CR: 8 pts (23.5%) (ITT: 18.1%), PR: 1 pt (2.9%) (ITT: 2.2%), mCR: 3 pts (8.8%) (ITT: 6.8%), HI: 8 pts (23.5%) (ITT: 18.1%), mCR+HI: 6 pts (17.6%) (ITT: 13.6%). The remaining 8 pts showed either Stable Disease (SD) (6 pts, 17.6%) or Disease Progression (DP) (2 pts, 5.9%). Among the 27 pts (21 evaluable for response) with an abnormal karyotype at baseline, ORR was 66.7% (ITT: 51.8%) and 4 pts achieved complete cytogenetic response. Median duration of hematologic response: 10.5 months. 34 pts (77,3%) died , and 17 pts (38.6%) showed progression to AML. Grade >2 non haematological toxicity: 54.5%. Median OS: 15 months. No significant differences between the 2 arms were observed, in terms of ORR (ARM 1: 76.5%, ITT: 61.9%; ARM 2: 76.5%, ITT: 56.5%), CR rate (ARM 1: 17.6%, ITT: 14.3%; ARM 2: 29.4%, ITT: 21.7%), grade >2 non haematological toxicity (ARM 1: 66.7%; ARM 2: 43.5%), AML incidence (ARM 1: 28.6%; ARM 2: 47.8%) and OS (ARM 1: 14 months; ARM 2: 16 months), but the median response duration was significantly longer in ARM 2 (18 months) as compared to ARM 1 (6 months) (p=0.0459). At the time of last analysis, 5/44 (11.4%) patients, 1/21 (4.8%) in ARM 1, and 4/23 (17.4%) in ARM 2, were still maintaining the haematological response, and were still in treatment, after 54, 54, 52, 51 and 37 months, and after 52, 51, 33, 48 and 35 cycles of therapy, respectively. The changes observed during treatment in mutational status of inositide-specific genes and microRNA expression profiling were related to clinical outcome, predicting a negative response to therapy. Conclusions. Our results confirm the efficacy of both AZA+LEN treatment regimens in higher-risk MDS pts, in terms of ORR and OS, although pts treated with the sequential regimen showed a significantly longer duration of haematological response.

Disclosures

Finelli:Celgene: Other: speaker fees, Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: speaker fees; Janssen: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: speaker fees. Candoni:Janssen: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Celgene: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Gilead: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Pfizer: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Merck SD: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau. Gobbi:Novartis: Consultancy; Janssen: Consultancy; Ariad: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Amgen: Consultancy; Pfister: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Rigolin:Gilead: Research Funding. Cavo:GlaxoSmithKline: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; AbbVie: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Janssen: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Takeda: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Adaptive Biotechnologies: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Amgen: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees.

Author notes

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Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.