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, 280 (2), 192-200

Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors as Anti-Neoplastic Agents


Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors as Anti-Neoplastic Agents

Nicolas Batty et al. Cancer Lett.


Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) constitute a novel class of targeted drugs that alter the acetylation status of histones and other important cellular proteins. These agents modulate chromatin structure leading to transcriptional changes, induce pleiotropic effects on functional pathways and activate cell death signaling in cancer cells. Anti-neoplastic activity in vitro was shown in several experimental models of cancer, but the exact mechanism of cytotoxicity and responses are not clearly understood. Phase I/II clinical trials of various HDACIs as single agents conducted to date have shown substantial activity in cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL), preliminary activity in Hodgkin's disease and modest activity in myeloid neoplasms. Responses have been rare in solid tumors. Several agents are being tested in combination therapy clinical trials, either as chemosensitizers for cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or in association with DNA methylation inhibitors based on in vitro synergy. In this review, we focus on recent basic and clinical data that highlight the anti-neoplastic role of HDACIs.

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