New anticancer drug proven effective in lymphoma patients

A phase I clinical trial found that the first-in-class investigational drug known as pevonedistat showed promising results in the treatment of lymphoma.

Published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the study involved giving varying doses of pevonedistat to 44 individuals with either relapsed/refractory myeloma or relapsed/refractory lymphoma. Pevonedistat is an inhibitor of the NEDD8-activating enzyme that prevents the reproduction and survival of cancer cells.

"The most important findings from our study are that pevonedistat hits its target in cancer cells in patients, can be given safely and has modest activity in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed/refractory lymphoma, suggesting that we are on the right path," study author Jatin Shah said. "Although pevonedistat had modest activity as a single agent treatment, we expect greater activity when it is given in combination with standard therapy, and there are a number of combinations currently in clinical testing for acute myeloid leukemia."

Shah, who is the director of myeloma clinical/translational research and director of lymphoma/myeloma fellowship program in the department of lymphoma/myeloma at the University of Texas Anderson MD Cancer Center in Houston, Texas also said pevonedistat was able to reach its target in cancer cells at low doses.

"This is important because it may mean that we do not need to escalate the dose in future trials to increase anticancer activity; this has the potential to increase the risk:benefit ratio of pevonedistat," he said.

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American Association for Cancer Research 615 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA - 19106