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Expert Describes Importance of Classifying T-Cell Lymphomas

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Friday, Oct 28, 2016

Madeleine Duvic, MD

Madeleine Duvic, MD

Novel agents being explored in the landscape of both peripheral and cutaneous T-cell lymphomas could lead to an expansion of treatment options for patients, explains Madeleine Duvic, MD.

Such burgeoning developments include an open-label phase I/II trial exploring the safety and efficacy of a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-pNK therapy targeting CD7 in relapsed/refractory patients with peripheral, angioimmunoblastic, extranodal natural killer, enteropathy-type intestinal, or hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (NCT02742727).

Additionally, the investigational agent E7777 is being tested in patients with relapsed/refractory peripheral and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in a phase II trial (NCT02676778). The primary endpoint of the multicenter, open-label, single-arm study is objective response rate with E7777, which is a fusion protein that combines the interleukin-2 receptor-binding domain with diphtheria toxin fragments.

In an interview with OncLive during the 2016 OncLive State of the Science Summit on Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies, Duvic, professor of Medicine and Dermatology, Blanche Bender Professorship in Cancer Research, director of the Research Fellowship Program, Department of Dermatology, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, shares her insight on classification of T-cell lymphomas, potential treatments in development, and what challenges oncologists are still facing in the field.

OncLive: Can you provide a summary of your presentation at this meeting?

Duvic: I spoke about T-cell lymphomas—the ones that are in the nodes and the more specialized, rare cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. I looked at the classification of the lymphomas, the prognosis, and newer therapies for each of the 2 categories—the peripheral and the cutaneous T-cell lymphomas.

Why do you think classification is so important?

We are moving toward personalized medicine and targeted therapies, so that if you know what markers a cancer bears on its surface, you can design a toxin-antibody to kill that cell selectively and decrease the toxicity in general. The more we know about the molecular basis for cancer in different people, the more prepared we’ll be to offer effective therapy. Rather than using big guns, we targeted small bullets.

Are there any new targets being investigated currently?

Absolutely, there are many new targets being investigated now. One of the most exciting is the CARs, or the chimeric antigen receptors, where if you know there’s a surface molecule, you can send T cells selectively to kill that cell.

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