Pixantrone shows promise for patients with relapsed/refractory NHL

Dr. Richard Van der Jagt of Ottawa General Hospital presented results from phase II and phase III clinical studies of pixantrone at this weekend's Lymphoma and Myeloma 2009 Conference (October 22-24 2009).


Drug class: Anthracenediones. The only other drug in this class is mitoxantrone. In fact, pixantrone is a less-toxic analogue of mitoxantrone.
Classification: Type II topoisomerase inhibitor. This means it interferes with enzymes that control DNA structure, causing breaks in the DNA and leading to cell death. Etopiside and doxorubicin are topoisomerase II inhibitors.
Current status: FDA fast track; could be available in 2010


Phase II and phase III clinical studies showed that pixantrone performed pretty well when used in combination with other drugs:

Patients with: Relapsed/refractory indolent NHL
Combination: FPD-R regimen (fludarabine, pixantrone, dexamethasone, rituximab)
Complete remission: 70%

Patients with: Relapsed/refractory aggressive NHL where CHOP failed
Combination: CPOP regimen (cyclophosphamide, pixantrone, vincristine, prednisone)
Complete remission: 47%

Patients with: Relapsed/refractory indolent NHL
Combination: Pixantrone + rituximab
Complete remission: 35%


"The results from the pixantrone clinical trials are impressive and indicate the potential for this drug to meet a significant unmet medical need in patients with relapsed or refractory NHL," said Dr. Gary Schiller of the UCLA School of Medicine. "These patients have few options and the availability of an effective treatment would be well received."

Source: Medical News Today by way of Cell Therapeutics, Inc

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