Investigational Gel Very Effective Against Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Lesions

A conference abstract suggests a possible new treatment for lesions caused by cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Alain H. Rook, M.D., of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues presented an abstract at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology meeting demonstrating that the investigational drug resiquimod successfully healed cutaneous T-cell lymphoma lesions in a small peer-supported trial.

This phase I open-label clinical trial had 10 patients with recurrent or treatment refractory cutaneous T-cell lymphoma lesions who had tried anywhere from two to 10 medications unsuccessfully. However, all experienced lesion healing with a low incidence of side effects from 0.03 percent topical resiquimod gel.

Toll-like receptors 7 and 8 – proteins beneath the skin involved with immune system activation – were both triggered by the investigational drug.

"It's been very trying to get this study going," Rook said. "It took us eight years. We were required to have 100 percent of the funding to get this particular study going, and only then were we able to acquire [resiquimod], not from the North American company, but from the European company. What we know now is that resiquimod is a dual TLR 7/8 agonist, its bioavailability is 10 times that of imiquimod, and its potency in vitro is up to 100 times that of imiquimod."

He went on to say that only four or five small lesions were treated during the study but that even lesions outside the treatment area appeared to regress. One patient hadn't been in clinical remission for 15 years, yet this patient's lesions were completely healed at week 24 of the study.

Drug well-tolerated, easy to apply

Resiquimod was formulated about 15 years ago. It has previously been tested unsuccessfully as a topical treatment for genital herpes.

"There are numerous potential indications with this drug," added Rook. "There's no question in my mind that it will be far more effective than imiquimod in – well, you name it – basal cells, squamous cells, Kaposi sarcoma, and infectious disorders of the skin."

Source: Medpage Today

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