Efficacy of decitabine in the treatment of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML)

P. W. Wijermans, B. Rüter, M. R. Baer, J. L. Slack, H. I. Saba, M. Lübbert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) characterized by cytopenias, bone marrow and peripheral blood cell dysplasia is notoriously hard to treat. Recent reclassification of CMML as a myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative (MDS/MPS) disease rather than a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has led to a review of CMML patients treated with decitabine. Overall response rates (ORR) (complete response [CR] + partial response [PR]) in the subset of patients with CMML in one pivotal phase 3 trial (D-0007) and two phase 2 trials (PCH 95-11, PCH 97-19) decitabine were reviewed. For consistency across trials, all decitabine-treated patients were evaluated using the phase 2 response criteria (CR was defined by normocellular bone marrow with <5% blasts and normal Hgb, WBC, and platelet counts, and PR required 50% decrease in blast count, increases in Hgb by >1.5 mmol/L, WBC count by >1000, and platelet count by >50,000). A total of 31 patients diagnosed with CMML are included in this review. Similar demographics and disease characteristics were observed in all three studies, with an average age of 70.2 years and 71% of patients male. Baseline WBC of >20,000 were observed in 8/28 (29%) patients and baseline bone marrow blasts >5% in 11/28 (39%) patients. All clinical responses were centrally reviewed. The ORR was 25% (14% CR + 11% PR). Hematologic improvement was observed in 11% of patients and stable disease in 39% of patients. The decitabine adverse event profile seen in CMML patients was similar to observations in other hematologic patient populations, with myelosuppression and related infectious complications. These data demonstrate encouraging activity for decitabine in CMML, and suggest that studies in other myeloproliferative diseases may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-591
Number of pages5
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia
  • Decitabine
  • Epigenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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