NCCN Oncology Research Program, with Taiho Oncology, to Explore New Research into Oral Medication Targeting Tumor Suppression Genes

Sept. 1, 2020

Media Contact:
Rachel Darwin

Studies will assess safety and effectiveness of an oral combination of decitabine and cedazuridine.

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [September 1, 2020] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) today announced plans to develop a program to scientifically evaluate and facilitate clinical trials on the efficacy of decitabine and cedazuridine. This novel, fixed dose combination of the hypomethylating agent decitabine, combined with the cytidine deaminase inhibitor cedazuridine permits effective oral administration of decitabine by preventing degradation in the gut and liver. Studies will investigate decitabine and cedazuridine in hematologic malignancies. Research funding will be provided by a $2 million grant from Taiho Oncology.

“Patients and advocates frequently express preference for oral medications over intravenous infusions,” said Wui-Jin Koh, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NCCN. “By learning more about how patients with various cancer types respond to this kind of treatment when it’s delivered in an oral dosage form, we have the potential to make great strides in improving comfort, convenience, treatment adherence, and hopefully cure rates.”

“The National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s research on decitabine and cedazuridine tablets can provide important insights regarding oral treatment options for patients with hematologic malignancies that can be taken from their home,” said Martin J. Birkhofer, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Taiho Oncology, Inc. “We thank NCCN for expanding the generation of clinical data for decitabine and cedazuridine in patients with hematologic malignancies. This research is significant as both patients and healthcare providers look to reduce the number of in-office visits required for intravenous administration of their treatment during the current global pandemic.”

The specific tumor types to be targeted for study will be determined by a group of cancer research specialists from NCCN Member Institutions who form the Request for Proposals (RFP) Development Team. The RFP will be shared in the coming months, with an announcement of selected projects to follow.

The NCCN ORP fosters innovation and knowledge discovery that improves the lives of people with cancer and supports preclinical, translational, clinical research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN Member Institutions. In an effort to improve collaboration in cancer research, the NCCN ORP also maintains a shared resources website and an informed consent database. For more information, visit

# # #

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) provide transparent, evidence-based, expert consensus recommendations for cancer treatment, prevention, and supportive services; they are the recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management and the most thorough and frequently-updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® provide expert cancer treatment information to inform and empower patients and caregivers, through support from the NCCN Foundation®. NCCN also advances continuing education, global initiatives, policy, and research collaboration and publication in oncology. Visit for more information and follow NCCN on Facebook @NCCNorg, Instagram @NCCNorg, and Twitter @NCCN.

We respect your privacy