Injectable Hypomethylating Agents for Management of MDS

Until recently, patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) could receive hypomethylating agents (HMAs) via intravenous (IV) or subcutaneous (SC) administration. A study assessed the impact of these delivery methods for HMA on MDS patients, and their experience of, challenges with, and views about oral MDS treatment.

Researchers conducted an online cross-sectional survey among 141 participants (120 patients, 21 caregiver proxies) invited by two U.S. MDS patient advocacy groups. For study inclusion, patients were required to have received IV/SC HMA (i.e., azacitidine or decitabine) within six months of the survey. HMA treatments received included SC azacitidine (37%), IV azacitidine (36%), and IV decitabine (27%).

Among 89 IV HMA recipients, 74.2% and 69.7% reported treatment-related interference with their social and daily activities, respectively, and 66.3% reported pain related to treatment administration. Following an injection, SC HMA recipients reported pain (94.2%) and interference with daily (86.5%) and social (80.8%) activities. The researchers noted that among the 49.6% of patients who were working, 61.4% felt less productive due to treatment. Most (69.5%) MDS patients indicated they would prefer oral MDS treatment to IV/SC therapies, the researchers further noted.

“Patients receiving IV/SC HMAs experienced pain/discomfort and interference with social and daily activities. The introduction of an oral HMA may alleviate some treatment challenges for MDS patients,” the researchers concluded.