Venetoclax (VEN) combined with azacitidine (AZA) or decitabine (DEC) has been approved for older adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) unfit for intensive chemotherapy based on the pivotal VIALE-A trial. However, this trial only compared AZA + VEN with AZA monotherapy. Therefore, we compared the outcomes of consecutive older adults (65 years or older) with newly diagnosed AML who received DEC (n = 230) or DEC + VEN (n = 74) after propensity score matching to construct a one-to-one matched cohort by the nearest neighbor algorithm. The median overall survival was longer in the DEC + VEN group than in the DEC group (13.4 months vs. 8.3 months, p = 0.01). The median event-free survivals were 8.6 and 5.8 months in the DEC + VEN and DEC groups, respectively (p = 0.02). The response rate (complete response, complete response with incomplete hematologic recovery, and morphologic leukemia-free state) was significantly higher in the DEC + VEN group than in the DEC group (70.3% vs. 24.3%, p < 0.01). The 30-day (2.7% vs. 9.5%, p = 0.17) and 60-day (9.5% vs. 18.9%, p = 0.16) mortality rates did not differ between the two groups, nor did the median hospitalization and transfusion rates (hospitalization: 23 days vs. 21 days, p = 0.20; red blood cells: 3.2 units/month vs. 3.5 units/month, p = 0.73; platelets: 2.7 units/month vs. 2.3 units/months, p = 0.48). Of those who received DEC + VEN and became leukemia-free, 29% underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation and had excellent survival outcomes (one-year survival: 79.4%; one-year non-relapse mortality: 13.3%). This study is the first to provide real-world evidence that DEC + VEN has superior outcomes to DEC monotherapy.
© 2022. The Author(s).