Panobinostat Could Benefit Some With Refractory Hodgkin's

According to research published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the investigational drug panobinostat could benefit some patients diagnosed with refractory or relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Panobinostat is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, a class of drugs that has traditionally performed well against refractory or relapsed Hodgkin's.

The study was led by Dr. Anas Younes of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He told Reuters Health, "These drugs work by several mechanisms, including a direct antiproliferative effect and immunomodulatory effects."

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Study of patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma

Dr. Younes and colleagues carried out a Phase II study on 129 patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma following autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT).

Patients were not treatment naive--just the opposite in fact. Two thirds of them had undergone radiation therapy; almost eighty percent had had subsequent therapy following an ASCT, and over forty percent characterized as not responding to their therapy just before panobinostat.

Researchers determined that the objective response rate (ORR) was 27%, with 30 partial responses and 5 complete responses. Another 70 patients showed a best response of stable disease, for a disease control rate of 82%. In three quarters of patients, researchers noted that tumors shrank.

The median progression-free survival was 6.1 months; two-thirds of the patients needed dose reductions generally because of an adverse event. At data cutoff date, the median OS had not been reached

Critics noted that compared with Adcetris this data was weak, but Younes disagreed, saying, "Although panobinostat induced partial and complete remission in only 24% of the patients, which is lower than the 75% response rate reported with brentuximab vedotin, almost 70% of the patients treated with panobinostat had some degree of tumor shrinkage. Therefore, panobinostat is a great drug for combination strategies."

Source: LLS

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