Adding a drug that activates genes to frontline combination therapy for acute myeloid leukemia resulted in an 85% remission rate after initial treatment. Study patients received the drug vorinostat combined with chemotherapy drug cytarabine and idarubicin, an anthracycline antibiotic commonly used as chemotherapy.
Vorinostat, known commercially as Zolinza®, is a histone deacetylase inhibitor — an exciting new class of potential anticancer agents for treating solid and hematological (leukemias, lymphomas and myeloma) cancers.
“The overall response rates are encouraging, and most higher risk patients did very well,” says Guillermo Garcia-Manero, M.D., professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Leukemia and lead investigator on the study.
He will be the principal investigator on a national Phase III clinical trial with this combination, conducted through the National Cancer Institute’s Cooperative Oncology Groups.
Reported in December 2011 at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.