Clinical Trial Finds Zolinza Effective for B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, According to the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center

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Researchers say a drug approved for the treatment of relapsed T-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma may help people with indolent B-cell varieties, too.

New Hope for Indolent Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Vorinostat (Zolinza) offers sustained antitumor activity.

Scientists studying the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma drug Zolinza (vorinostat) say it may improve outcomes for patients fighting indolent B-cell lymphomas like follicular lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma.

The Phase II study, published in the British Journal of Haematology and reported by the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center, tested Zolinza on 50 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patients (39 with follicular lymphoma) whose disease had come back after treatment. Although certain B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas, such as follicular lymphoma, may initially respond well to rituximab-based chemotherapy, the cancer often returns. This tendency to relapse is why follicular lymphoma is considered incurable.

In the current study, doctors gave patients 200 mg of Zolinza twice daily for 14 consecutive days in a 21 day cycle. Zolinza is believed to work by inhibiting a class of enzymes called histone deacetylases. Zolinza treatments continued until the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma began to progress again or until the side effects became too great to continue. The primary endpoint was overall response rate in follicular lymphoma patients and safety and tolerability in the rest of the test subjects.

The researchers report that the overall response rate among the relapsed follicular lymphoma patients was 49%. The median point at which their Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma began to progress again was 20 months. The most serious complications from Zolinza treatment were a reduction in platelets and certain white blood cells, both of which were deemed “manageable”.

In a summary of their findings in the British Journal of Haematology, the authors report, “Vorinostat (Zolinza) offers sustained antitumor activity in patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma with an acceptable safety profile” (Oqura, M et al, “A multicentre phase II study of vorinostat in patients with relapsed or refractory indolent B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma”, March 12, 2014, Epub ahead or print,

Currently, Zolinza is FDA-approved for the treatment of relapsed or recurrent cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of T-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that starts as a rash on the skin. Follicular lymphoma is a B-cell cancer that accounts for about one fourth of all Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is the most common hematological malignancy in the US.

The Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center is part of the Cancer Monthly organization. The Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center has been established by Cancer Monthly to provide more comprehensive information on the causes, diagnosis, and treatments for the many different subtypes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For over ten years, Cancer Monthly has been the only centralized source of cancer treatment results. Patients can see the actual survival rate, quality-of-life indicators, and other key data for approximately 1,500 different cancer treatments. Cancer Monthly provides timely and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnoses and treatments of the most common cancers including Bladder, Brain, Breast, Colon, Kidney (Renal), Liver, Lung (NSCLC), Ovarian, Prostate, and Rectal Cancers, Melanoma, Mesothelioma, and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Written for patients and their loved ones, Cancer Monthly helps families make more informed treatment decisions.

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Michael Ellis
Cancer Monthy
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