What is the role of azacitidine and decitabine in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)?

Updated: Jul 24, 2018
  • Author: Emmanuel C Besa, MD; Chief Editor: Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, FRCP, FACP  more...
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Answer

Epigenetic modulation of gene function is a very powerful cellular mechanism. DNA methylation leads to silencing of suppressor genes, increasing the risk for transformation to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Azacitidine and decitabine are the two hypomethylating agents currently used in the treatment of MDS. Azacitidine and decitabine may reduce hypermethylation and induce re-expression of key tumor suppressor genes in MDS.


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