Phase III, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of CC-486 (Oral Azacitidine) in Patients With Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Guillermo Garcia-Manero*, Valeria Santini, Antonio Almeida, Uwe Platzbecker, Anna Jonasova, Lewis R. Silverman, Jose Falantes, Gianluigi Reda, Francesco Buccisano, Pierre Fenaux, Rena Buckstein, Maria Diez Campelo, Stephen Larsen, David Valcarcel, Paresh Vyas, Valentina Giai, Esther Natalie Oliva, Jake Shortt, Dietger Niederwieser, Moshe MittelmanLuana Fianchi, Ignazia La Torre, Jianhua Zhong, Eric Laille, Daniel Lopes De Menezes, Barry Skikne, C. L. Beach, Aristoteles Giagounidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


PURPOSE Treatment options are limited for patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (LR-MDS). This phase III, placebo-controlled trial evaluated CC-486 (oral azacitidine), a hypomethylating agent, in patients with International Prognostic Scoring System LR-MDS and RBC transfusion-dependent anemia and thrombocytopenia. METHODS Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to CC-486 300-mg or placebo for 21 days/28-day cycle. The primary end point was RBC transfusion independence (TI). RESULTS Two hundred sixteen patients received CC-486 (n 5 107) or placebo (n 5 109). The median age was 74 years, median platelet count was 25 3 109/L, and absolute neutrophil count was 1.3 3 109/L. In the CC-486 and placebo arms, 31% and 11% of patients, respectively, achieved RBC-TI (P5.0002), with median durations of 11.1 and 5.0 months. Reductions of $ 4 RBC units were attained by 42.1% and 30.6% of patients, respectively, with median durations of 10.0 and 2.3 months, and more CC-486 patients had $ 1.5 g/dL hemoglobin increases from baseline (23.4% v 4.6%). Platelet hematologic improvement rate was higher with CC- 486 (24.3% v 6.5%). Underpowered interim overall survival analysis showed no difference between CC-486 and placebo (median, 17.3 v 16.2 months; P 5 .96). Low-grade GI events were the most common adverse events in both arms. In the CC-486 and placebo arms, 90% and 73% of patients experienced a grade 3-4 adverse event. Overall death rate was similar between arms, but there was an imbalance in deaths during the first 56 days (CC- 486, n 5 16; placebo, n 5 6), most related to infections; the median pretreatment absolute neutrophil count for the 16 CC-486 patients was 0.57 3 109/L. CONCLUSION CC-486 significantly improved RBC-TI rate and induced durable bilineage improvements in patients with LR-MDS and high-risk disease features. More early deaths occurred in the CC-486 arm, most related to infections in patients with significant pretreatment neutropenia. Further evaluation of CC-486 in MDS is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1436
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


FundersFunder number
Bristol-Myers Squibb


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