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Inhibitor May Have Use Against Head, Neck Cancers

Last Updated: May 01, 2009.

The histone deacetylase inhibitor LBH589, which has been shown to be useful against some hematologic cancers, may hold potential for treating head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), according to research published online ahead of print March 16 in the Journal of Pathology.

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- The histone deacetylase inhibitor LBH589, which has been shown to be useful against some hematologic cancers, may hold potential for treating head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), according to research published online ahead of print March 16 in the Journal of Pathology.

Michael B. Prystowsky, M.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues discuss their work testing LBH589 against five HNSCC cell lines. All treated cell lines showed a drug-induced arrest in the G2/M phase.

The early mitotic arrest and cell death seen after treating the FaDu line could be due in part to downregulation of genes needed for chromosome congression and segregation, sister chromatid cohesion, and kinetochore structure, the authors note.

"LBH589 has been used clinically for a variety of hematologic neoplasms. A family member, vorinostat, has recently been used in a phase 2 trial for HNSCC without success. There is some question as to whether HDAC inhibitors should be used alone or in combination with other agents. In addition, there is evidence for resistance to HDAC inhibitors in certain hematologic cell lines. Our findings show that patients with HNSCC express various levels of LBH589-responsive genes. Given that there is variable expression of LBH589-responsive genes, future studies should be able to identify subsets of patients that will respond or be resistant to LBH589 therapy," the authors write.

A co-author is an employee of Novartis, which makes LBH589.

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