Public Release: 

Data presented at ASH illustrates that continued treatment with vidaza can benefit MDS patients

MDS Foundation

Crosswicks, NJ - (December 10, 2008) - The Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Foundation announced today that a new analysis of the AZA-001 phase III clinical trial demonstrates that continued treatment with VIDAZA (azacitidine) can improve response rates for higher-risk MDS patients.

Leading hematologist Dr. Lewis Silverman of Mount Sinai Medical Center presented the analysis at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. The results showed that 51% of patients in the trial responded to treatment with Vidaza. Of those patients, almost half achieved an improved response when treatment with VIDAZA was continued for an additional four cycles.

"We are encouraged by this analysis which for the first time shows that patients can benefit from continued treatment with VIDAZA," said Kathy Heptinstall, Operating Director of the Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation, "This analysis provides hope for many MDS patients that do not initially have a strong response to treatment. We look forward to additional studies that showcase the clinical potential of epigenetic therapies like VIDAZA."

Dr. Silverman's analysis is a follow-up to results from the AZA-001 trial, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in June, which showed that VIDAZA significantly extends overall survival for patients with MDS compared to conventional care regimens (CCR). Patients who received VIDAZA had higher one-year survival rates in all response categories, including partial remission, stable disease and hematologic improvement, compared to those who received CCR without necessarily achieving complete remission.

MDS is a primary neoplasm of the bone marrow that is more prevalent than any of the leukemias. MDS affects the function of blood cells, either red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. The incidence of MDS is underestimated.


About the MDS Foundation

The Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation, Inc. is a multi-disciplinary, international organization devoted to the prevention, treatment, and study of the myelodysplastic syndromes. The organization is based upon the premise that international cooperation will accelerate the process leading to the control and cure of these diseases. For further information, please visit

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