Antithymocyte of globulin (ATG)-based therapy in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes

S. Yazji, F. J. Giles, A. M. Tsimberidou, E. H. Estey, H. M. Kantarjian, S. A. O'Brien, R. Kurzrock*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of and tolerance to antithymocyte globulin (ATG)-based therapy in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Therapy consisted of ATG 40 mg/kg/day daily intravenously (i.v.) for 4 days; cyclosporine daily orally for 6 months with levels titrated between 200 and 400 mg/dl; and methylprednisone 1 mg/kg i.v. daily before each dose of ATG. Of 32 patients treated, 31 patients were evaluable. The median age was 59 years (range, 28-79 years). A total of 18 patients had refractory anemia (RA) or RA with ringed sideroblasts (RARS), 10 patients had RA with excess blasts (RAEB), two patients had RAEB in transformation, and one patient had chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. ATG, cyclosporine, and methylprednisone induced complete (N=4) or partial (N=1) remission in five patients (16% of total; RA, two patients; RARS, two patients; and RAEB, one patient). Durable complete remissions were observed in three of 18 patients (17%) with RA (N=1) or RARS (N=2) (12, 41+, and 60+ months). The most common adverse events were fever and allergic reactions. Hepatic and renal dysfunction, albeit consistently reversible, occurred in 19 and 13% of the patients, respectively. In conclusion, an ATG-based regimen can produce durable complete remissions in a subset of patients with MDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2101-2106
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Aplastic anemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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