Another oral, small-molecule therapy called CUDC-907 is emerging from phase I testing as a treatment option for patients with relapsed or refractory lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

The CUDC-907 dose to be used in phase II studies will be 60 mg on a 5-days-on/2-days-off dosing schedule, according to Dr. Anas Younes of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and his colleagues. A dose-expansion trial of this dose is ongoing, and the drug appears to be useful in particular for patients with refractory and relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

The researchers tested CUDC-907, which is designed to inhibit histone deacetylase and PI3K enzyme pathways, for overall safety and response in 44 patients at four cancer centers. All participants had lymphoma or multiple myeloma and were refractory to treatment or had relapsed after two or more previous regimens.

The 44 participants were sequentially assigned to 21-day cycles of CUDC-907: 10 to once daily, 12 to twice weekly, 15 to three times weekly, and 7 to daily for 5 days followed by a 2-day break. The maximum tolerated doses were 60 mg for the once-daily schedule, 150 mg for the twice-weekly schedule, 150 mg for the three-times-weekly schedule, and 60 mg for the 5-on/2-off schedule. At data cutoff, 37 of the 44 patients had discontinued CUDC-907 because of disease progression, Dr. Younes and his associates reported in a study published online ( Lancet Oncol. 2016 Mar 31. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00584-7 ).

Four dose-limiting toxicities occurred in 3 of 40 evaluable patients. Grade 3 or worse adverse events occurred in 19 of 44 patients: 9 had thrombocytopenia, 3 had neutropenia, 3 had hyperglycemia. Adverse events led to dose reductions in six patients and treatment discontinuation in seven.

Of 37 response-evaluable patients, two had complete responses and three had partial responses. All five were seen in the subgroup of nine patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and three occurred in the five patients with transformed follicular disease. The 21 patients with stable disease included those with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. This ongoing trial is registered at as NCT01742988.

The study was sponsored by Curis, the maker of CUDC-907, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Five of the 15 investigators are employees of Curis.

On Twitter @maryjodales