ABSTRACT: Background: MDS is comprised of a heterogeneous group of clonal myeloid disorders. Chronic immune stimulation has been reported as a trigger for the development of a subset of MDS, with increased autoreactive cytotoxic T cells present in the bone marrow. Autoimmunity has been associated with MDS and other marrow failures. DNMTIs, 5-azacytidine and decitabine, are approved for the treatment of MDS. In addition to epigenetic impacts, these agents may have immunomodulatory effects, including augmentation of MAGE-related anti-tumor response. These reports and clinical observations led us to hypothesize that MDS patients with a history of autoimmunity may be more responsive to DNMTIs. Methods: To identify patients with MDS, a retrospective database review (2007-2011) was performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The MGH data also included those with AML whose disease had progressed from MDS. Past medical history of autoimmune disorders, diagnosis, blood counts, flow cytometry and cytogenetics were reviewed. Patients with aplastic anemia, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria or non-malignant etiologies of cytopenia were excluded. Patients with MDS were further studied if they were treated with DNMTI. Results: Of 137 patients with MDS or MDS/AML, 23 had a documented history of autoimmunity in the medical record. Of these, 15 (65.2%) experienced a response to therapy as defined by the International Working Group. Of 114 patients without a documented history of autoimmunity, 34 (29.8%) achieved a response during therapy, a significantly lower percentage as compared to those with autoimmune conditions (p-value 0.002, t-test). The majority of responding patients with a history of autoimmunity displayed a normal karyotype (9 of 15 patients). Conclusions: A history or co-presence of an autoimmune disorder may predict a high likelihood of achieving a clinical response to DNMTIs. Correlative studies in this unique population of patients with MDS and MDS/AML and prospective clinical studies are needed to improve our understanding of the possible mechanism of action of DNMTIs in these patients.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 05/2012; J Clin Oncol 30, 2012 (suppl; abstr 6629)(30). · 18.37 Impact Factor