Technology appraisals, TA218 - Issued: March 2011

NICE recommends azacitidine as a possible treatment for some adults with myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia or acute myeloid leukaemia.

Who can have azacitidine?
People who cannot have a stem cell transplant may be able to have azacitidine. Azacitidine is 'licensed' (approved as being safe by the European regulatory agency) for adults with myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia or acute myeloid leukaemia, but only in specific circumstances, for example, depending on the characteristics of the person's blood and bone marrow.

Why has NICE said this?
NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS. NICE applies special considerations to treatments that can extend the lives of people who are nearing the end of their life. NICE recommended azacitidine because the cost is justified by the benefits it provides when the special considerations are applied.

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IPSS-R MDS Risk Assessment Calculator

Revised International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS-R) for Myelodysplastic Syndromes Risk Assessment Calculator


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MDS Fact Sheet

MDS Factsheet for GPs General Practicioners

MDS Fact Sheet

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Varicella Vaccine in MDS

Urgent Clarification on varicella vaccine policy

Current advice from the UK MDS Forum is not to give the Live Varicella Vaccine to patients with MDS.

Please read below correspondence between Professor Salisbury and Dr George Follows, the latter on behalf of the CLL Forum, on the varicella vaccine policy.
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NICE Guideline

Lenalidomide for treating myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) associated with an isolated deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality.

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BSH Guidelines

This is an external link to the home of the British Society for Haematology (BSH). 

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