CPX-351 in higher risk myelodysplastic syndrome and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia: a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 study

Lancet Haematol. 2023 Jul;10(7):e521-e529. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3026(23)00090-X. Epub 2023 May 25.


Background: CPX-351, an encapsulated form of cytarabine and daunorubicin, has shown greater efficacy than the classic 3 + 7 treatment administration in secondary acute myeloid leukaemia. Given that higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia share similarities with secondary acute myeloid leukaemia, we aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of CPX-351 in this context.

Methods: This investigator-initiated two-cohort phase 2 trial was conducted by the Groupe Francophone des Myélodysplasies, with 12 participating centres in France. It comprised cohort A (reported here and completed), which included patients in first-line treatment, and cohort B, which was stopped for lack of inclusion (ie, not enough patients met the inclusion criteria), for patients with hypomethylating agent failure that is not reported here. Cohort A enrolled patients with newly diagnosed higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome or chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (aged 18-70 years old) with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1. Intravenous CPX-351 (100 mg/m2 cytarabine and 44 mg/m2 daunorubicin) was given on days 1, 3, and 5, with a second induction cycle given (same daily dose on days 1 and 3) if at least a partial response was not reached. Patients who responded could receive up to four monthly consolidation cycles (same daily dose on day 1) or allogeneic haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). Overall response rate after one or two induction courses according to European LeukemiaNet 2017 acute myeloid leukaemia was the primary endpoint after CPX-351 induction, whether patients received one or two induction cycles. Safety was assessed in all patients enrolled (in cohort A). This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04273802.

Findings: Between April 29, 2020, and Feb 10, 2021, 21 (68%) male and ten (32%) female patients were enrolled. 27 (87%) of 31 patients responded (95% CI 70-96). 16 (52%) of the 31 patients received at least one consolidation cycle. 30 (97%) of the 31 patients included were initially considered eligible for allogeneic HSCT and 29 (94%) of the 31 patients had the procedure. Median follow-up was 16·1 months (IQR 8·3-18·1). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were pulmonary (eight [26%] of 31 patients) and cardiovascular (six [19%] of 31 patients). There were 14 serious adverse events (mainly hospitalisation for infection [n=5] and only one was treatment-related) and no treatment-related death.

Interpretation: CPX-351 appears to be active and safe in patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia, allowing bridging to allogenic HSCT in most patients.

Funding: Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Cytarabine
  • Daunorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myelomonocytic, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes* / drug therapy
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes* / etiology
  • Young Adult


  • CPX-351
  • Cytarabine
  • Daunorubicin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04273802