Epigenetics therapy shows promise in patients with lymphoma
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IMAGE: Dr. Anastasios Stathis. view more 

Credit: ESMO

LUGANO-PARIS 5 March 2018 – New compounds targeting epigenetics have shown remarkable early activity in patients with lymphoma, according to data presented at the TAT (Targeted Anticancer Therapies) International Congress 2018 in Paris, France. ESMO’s phase-I oncology meeting featured early clinical studies with BET inhibitors and EZH2 inhibitors.

Dr Anastasios Stathis, head of the New Drugs Development Unit of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland (IOSI), Bellinzona, Switzerland, was one of the first oncologists to conduct research in this field. He said BET inhibitors have shown some activity in leukaemia, lymphoma and also NUT carcinoma, a rare and aggressive solid tumour driven by a translocation involving BET genes. His previous phase I research on the first-in-class BET inhibitor birabresib (OTX015/MK-8628) showed some activity in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, providing proof-of-concept for this approach. (1)

Subsequently birabresib was used on a single-patient compassionate basis in four patients with NUT carcinoma. Stathis said: “This was the first evidence that preclinical findings with BET inhibitors in models of NUT carcinoma could be translated into activity in patients.” (2)

Since then multiple BET inhibitors have been studied in clinical trials and preliminary results have confirmed

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