Vorinostat: A novel therapy for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

Shannon A. Kavanaugh, Lisa A. White, Jill M. Kolesar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Purpose. The pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, safety, adverse effects, dosage and administration, and role in therapy of vorinostat in the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) are reviewed. Summary. Vorinostat is a novel histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor approved for the treatment of advanced CTCL. Its primary biochemical mechanism is to correct an aberrant balance between acetylated and deacetylated histones, the proteins involved in chromatin structure and organization. Vorinostat is metabolized and excreted following glucuronidation by the uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzyme system. Polymorphisms in the gene encoding for this enzyme system, UGT1A1, may be an important predictor of vorinostat toxicity and response levels in individual patients. Vorinostat is not metabolized by and does not inhibit the cytochrome P-450 isoenzyme system, and only two drug interactions have been noted with vorinostat: warfarin and valproic acid or other HDAC inhibitors. In two Phase II studies, patients with CTCL treated with oral vorinostat demonstrated significant reductions in skin lesions and decreased disease progression. The overall response rate was approximately 30%, including one complete response and a time to response of approximately 10 weeks. At the approved 400-mg, once-daily dose, vorinostat was well tolerated, with the most common grade 1 or 2 adverse events being fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. Moresevere toxicities included thrombocytopenia, fatigue, and nausea and occurred in less than 6% of patients. Conclusion. Vorinostat, a novel HDAC inhibitor, is efficacious and well tolerated in patients with CTCL and is being investigated for its efficacy and safety in other types of cancers and as a part of combination therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-797
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2010


  • Anticoagulants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antineoplastic agents
  • Dosage
  • Drug administration
  • Drug interactions
  • Excretion
  • Lymphoma
  • Mechanism of action
  • Metabolism
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Toxicity
  • Valproic acid
  • Vorinostat
  • Warfarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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