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Pharmion Submits European Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Vidaza(R) in Patients with Higher-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)
Date:1/14/2008

About Epigenetics

Vidaza is the first of a new class of anti-cancer compounds known as epigenetic therapies. Epigenetics refers to changes in the regulation of gene expression, and DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two of the more studied epigenetic regulators of gene expression. Epigenetic changes can silence gene expression and, unlike DNA mutations, may be reversed by targeting the mechanisms involved. The silencing of key cell cycle control genes and tumor suppressor genes through these two mechanisms of epigenetic regulation has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo in hematological malignancies and in solid tumors. These key growth control genes can be re- expressed in cancer cells when DNA hypermethylation is reversed by Vidaza. The epigenetic approach to cancer therapy is that rather than using molecules that kill both normal, and tumor cells, the silenced genes are reactivated through targeted epigenetic therapy, re-establishing the cancer cell's natural mechanisms to control abnormal growth.

About MDS

Myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS, are a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not function normally, resulting in the production of malformed or immature blood cells. The majority of patients with higher-risk MDS eventually experience bone marrow failure. Up to 50 percent of MDS patients succumb to complications, such as infection or bleeding, before progressing to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). MDS patients have a median survival of four months to five years depending on risk stratification. Higher-risk patients have a median survival of five to 14 months. Alleviation of disease-related complications, including transfusion requirements and hematologic improvement are key treatment goals in lower-risk MDS. Altering the natural history of disease is one of the most important treatment goals in higher-risk MDS.

Important Safety Information

Vidaza is contraindicated in patients with a known hyperse
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SOURCE Pharmion Corporation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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