VALUABLE new research has emerged demonstrating that the use of tipifarnib as a treatment for relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma showed an increase in survival rates. This information comes from a national Phase II study involving researchers from Yale Cancer Center, and was presented at the 2021 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in December.
The study carried out was a single-arm, open-label trial aiming to establish the efficacy and safety of tipifarnib. Scientists also set out to identify potential biomarkers for the drug in patients with refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma. Tipifarnib was initially developed almost 20 years ago for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia, and falls under the umbrella of farnesyltransferase inhibitors. The 65 patients involved in the trial were administered the drug twice daily in cycles of 28 days, until disease progression was noted, or toxicity levels were unacceptable.
Francine M. Foss, study lead author and Professor of Hematology and Dermatology, Yale Cancer Center, noted: “We treated a number of patients on this study at Yale and we observed very dramatic clinical responses in patients who had progressed after chemotherapy and even following stem cell transplants. The activity of tipifarnib was impressive in this group of refractory patients, many of whom had few or no other treatment options.” 58 patients of the cohort were successfully evaluated, and had an overall response rate (ORR) of 39.7% in patients with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and PTCL-CXCL12 chemokine receptor +. A high proportion of responses were observed in patients with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, of which the ORR was 56.3%. Within this statistic, nine complete responses and nine partial responses were observed. In patients with PTCL-CXCL12+, an ORR of 40% was recorded, with one complete response and three partial responses.
This trial has identified molecular biomarkers and responders that we may see expand the realm of precision oncology. Foss concluded: “In the era of precision medicine, tipifarnib is emerging as a novel targeted agent, which has high activity even in chemorefractory T-cell lymphoma patients whose tumours express these biomarkers.”