A trial looking at decitabine for myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukaemia (DEC-MDS)

Cancer type:

Acute leukaemia
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Blood cancers
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)




Phase 2

This trial was for people with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) Open a glossary item and also for people with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) who between them had 2 and 3 out of 10 blood cells (20 to 30%) that were immature.

Cancer Research UK supported this trial.

More about this trial

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a condition affecting the bone marrow Open a glossary item. If you have MDS, your bone marrow makes abnormal blood cells, but not enough healthy blood cells.

MDS can sometimes develop into acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). If you have a lot of abnormal cells in your bone marrow, there is a higher risk of the MDS becoming AML. Doctors may call this high risk MDS.

Doctors often treat high risk MDS with blood transfusions Open a glossary item and antibiotics. This helps control the symptoms and fight infections that people with MDS might get. Doctors may call this ‘Best Supportive Care’ because it only improves the quality of life of people with MDS but does not treat their disease.

The researchers hoped that a new drug called decitabine may be able to help treat people with high risk MDS and AML.

The aims of this trial were to find out

  • how well decitabine works for people with MDS and AML
  • the side effects of giving decitabine to people with MDS and AML

Summary of results

We have contacted the trial team who tell us they don’t expect to be making results available for this trial.

The trial closed early. The trial team have told us that this was mainly due to poor recruitment and because decitabine was not a successful treatment in the few people who did join the trial.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Prof Ghulam Mufti

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
King's College London
Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUKE/09/040.

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

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“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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