Novel treatment strategies are needed for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This randomized phase 2 trial compared the efficacy and safety of 20 mg/m2 of IV decitabine on days 1 to 10 alone (arm A) with those of 1.3 mg/m2 of subcutaneous bortezomib (arm B) on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 for up to 4 10-day cycles followed by monthly 5-day cycles. Previously untreated AML patients age $60 years (excluding those with FLT3 mutations and favorable-risk cytogenetics) without restrictions in performance status (PS) or organ function were eligible. Median age was 72.4 years (range, 60.5-92.3 years); 31 patients (19%) had baseline PS $2, 35 (22%) had an antecedent hematological disorder, 58 had (39%) adverse cytogenetics, and 7 (5%) and 23 (14%) had abnormal cardiac or renal function. There were no statistically significant differences in overall survival (OS) or responses between the 2 treatment arms. The overall response rate (complete remission 1 complete remission with incomplete blood count recovery) was 39% (n 5 64), with median OS of 9.3 months. Nineteen responders (31%) underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation. The most common adverse event was febrile neutropenia, and there were no unexpected toxicities. Adding bortezomib to decitabine did not improve outcomes, but responses were better than those in previous trials using 5-day decitabine cycles. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01420926.
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