Biomarker holds promise for patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL)

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Similar to a recent breakthrough in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma. researchers at Oxford University and MD Anderson have found a protein biomarker that can predict whether or not patients with a certain non-Hodgkin's lymphoma will respond to specific treatments.

BLOOD CANCER SUBTYPE(S) IN QUESTION

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a somewhat rare indolent subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. CTCL actually refers to a small handful of T-cell lymphomas, such as Mycosis Fungoides and Sézary Syndrome.

RESEARCH FINDINGS

Researchers claim to have shown that the presence of protein biomarker HR23B can tell them whether a patient will respond to so-called HDAC inhibitors, possibly allowing these biomarkers to be used in personalized medicine to anticipate course of treatment.

The biomarker could spare many patients from a course of treatment that, unknown to doctors and patient, had no hope of working from the outset.

HDAC inhibitors are believed to work in CTCL because they prevent the action of the protein histone deacetylase. The first HDAC inhibitor approved for treatment was Zolinza (vorinostat).

PUBLICATION & SOURCES

This study appeared online at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) on March 22 2010, prior to going to print.

Sources:
-- HR23B is a biomarker for tumor sensitivity to HDAC inhibitor-based therapy. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0913912107.
-- Genomeweb.com

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