Optimizing outcomes with azacitidine: recommendations from Canadian centres of excellence
Myelodysplastic syndromes (mdss) constitute a heterogeneous group of malignant hematologic disorders characterized by marrow dysplasia, ineffective hematopoiesis, peripheral blood cytopenias, and pronounced risk of progression to acute myeloid leukemia. Azacitidine has emerged as an important treatment option and is recommended by the Canadian Consortium on Evidence-Based Care in mds as a first-line therapy for intermediate-2 and high-risk patients not eligible for allogeneic stem cell transplant; however, practical guidance on how to manage patients through treatment is limited. This best practice guideline provides recommendations by a panel of experts from Canadian centres of excellence on the selection and clinical management of mds patients with azacitidine. Familiarity with the referral process, treatment protocols, dose scheduling, treatment expectations, response monitoring, management of treatment breaks and adverse events, and multidisciplinary strategies for patient support will improve the opportunity for optimizing treatment outcomes with azacitidine.