A randomised comparison of the novel nucleoside analogue sapacitabine with low-dose cytarabine in older patients with acute myeloid leukaemia.
Burnett AK., Russell N., Hills RK., Panoskaltsis N., Khwaja A., Hemmaway C., Cahalin P., Clark RE., Milligan D.
The development of new treatments for older patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is an active area, but has met with limited success. Sapacitabine is a novel orally administered nucleoside analogue that has shown encouraging activity in unrandomised early-stage trials. We randomised 143 untreated patients with AML or with high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (>10% marrow blasts) between sapacitibine and low-dose ara-C (LDAC) in our 'Pick a Winner' trial design. At the planned interim analysis there was no difference between LDAC and sapacitibine in terms of remission rate (CR/CRi, 27% vs 16% hazard ratio (HR) 1.98(0.90-4.39) P=0.09), relapse-free survival (10% vs 14% at 2 years, HR 0.73(0.33-1.61) P=0.4) or overall survival (OS; 12% vs 11% at 2 years, HR 1.24(0.86-1.78) P=0.2). Sapacitibine was well tolerated, apart from more grade 3/4 diarrhoea. On the basis of these findings sapacitibine did not show sufficient evidence of benefit over LDAC for the trial to be continued.