Sequential administration of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitors and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors has demonstrated clinical efficacy in patients with hematologic malignancies. However, the mechanism behind their clinical efficacy remains controversial. In this study, the methylation dynamics of 4 TSGs (p15INK4B, CDH-1, DAPK-1, and SOCS-1) were studied in sequential bone marrow samples from 30 patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who completed a minimum of 4 cycles of therapy with 5-azacytidine and entinostat. Reversal of promoter methylation after therapy was observed in both clinical responders and nonresponders across all genes. There was no association between clinical response and either baseline methylation or methylation reversal in the bone marrow or purified CD34+ population, nor was there an association with change in gene expression. Transient global hypomethylation was observed in samples after treatment but was not associated with clinical response. Induction of histone H3/H4 acetylation and the DNA damage-associated variant histone γ-H2AX was observed in peripheral blood samples across all dose cohorts. In conclusion, methylation reversal of candidate TSGs during cycle 1 of therapy was not predictive of clinical response to combination "epigenetic" therapy. This trial is registered with http://www.clinicaltrials.gov under NCT00101179.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology