Abstract 1710

Poster Board I-736


Treatment regimens for cancer are typically based on cytotoxic chemotherapy, which is poorly tolerated. There is an unmet medical need for new therapies that retain efficacy, but combine this with an improved safety and tolerability profile. Vorinostat is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, approved in the United States for the treatment of cutaneous manifestations of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) in patients who have progressive, persistent, or recurrent disease on or following 2 systemic therapies. Vorinostat is also being investigated as a treatment for various other solid and hematologic malignancies, in which HDACs are further implicated as key regulators of transcription. Herein we present an overview of the safety and tolerability profile of vorinostat, gathered from prior clinical experience.


Safety and tolerability data, including adverse events (AEs), QTc interval data and incidence of thromboembolic events (TEE), were collated from patients who received vorinostat, administered as monotherapy or in combination therapy for solid or hematologic malignancies.

Results (adverse events)

In Phase I and II clinical trials, 498 patients who received vorinostat were analyzed. A total of 341 patients received vorinostat monotherapy (107 with CTCL, 105 other hematologic malignancies, 129 solid tumors) and the most common drug-related AEs in this group were: fatigue (61.9%), nausea (55.7%), diarrhea (49.3%), anorexia (48.1%), and vomiting (32.8%); Grade 3/4 AEs included fatigue (12.0%) and thrombocytopenia (10.6%), and 3 drug-related deaths (ischemic stroke, tumor hemorrhage, unspecified) occurred. Thirty-eight patients (11.1%) discontinued due to drug-related AEs, 71 patients (20.8%) required dose modifications, and 1 patient (0.3%) discontinued due to Grade 2 chest pain. The remaining 157 patients received vorinostat combination therapy (with pemetrexed/cisplatin for advanced cancer [n=46], bortezomib for multiple myeloma [n=34], bexarotene for CTCL [n=23], and erlotinib [n=30], gemcitabine/platin [n=21] or carboplatin/paclitaxel [n=3] for non-small-cell lung cancer). The most common drug-related AEs in this group were: nausea (48.4%), diarrhea (40.8%), fatigue (34.4%), and vomiting (31.2%); the most common Grade 3/4 AE was fatigue (13.4%), and 1 drug-related death (hemoptysis) occurred. Thirty-one patients (19.7%) discontinued due to drug-related AEs and 27 patients (17.2%) required dose modifications.

Results (QTcF interval)

A trial of 24 patients with advanced cancer was undertaken for rigorous assessment of QTcF interval. In this trial, a single supratherapeutic 800 mg dose of vorinostat did not prolong QTcF interval (monitored over 24 hours). The upper limit of the 90% confidence interval for the placebo-adjusted mean change-from-baseline of vorinostat was <10 msec at every timepoint, no patient had a QTcF change-from-baseline value >30 msec, and 1 patient had a QTcF interval >450 msec (after both vorinostat and placebo administration). The most common drug-related AE in this trial was nausea. There were no serious clinical or laboratory AEs, no discontinuations due to an AE and no patients experienced a cardiac-related AE.

Results (incidence of TEE)

A review of vorinostat clinical trials, published literature and post-marketing surveillance reports was conducted by a committee of independent academic experts to determine the incidence of TEE in cancer patients who had received vorinostat. In >1845 patients reviewed through November 3, 2008, 107 patients (<5.8%) reported TEE as a serious AE (SAE), 47 (<2.6%) of which were recorded as being related to vorinostat, and 4/47 (<0.3%) TEE SAEs were fatal.


In this review, the majority of observed AEs were 'Grade 2, there was no observed prolongation of the QTcF interval, and the incidence of TEE with vorinostat was similar to reported rates of TEE in advanced cancer patients. Vorinostat is generally well tolerated when administered as monotherapy or in a combination regimen in cancer patients.


Siegel:Millennium: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; Celegne: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau. Rubin:Merck: Employment, Equity Ownership. Iwamoto:Merck: Employment, Equity Ownership. Hussein:Celgene: Employment. Belani:Merck: Consultancy. Hardwick:Merck: Employment, Equity Ownership. Rizvi:Merck: Employment, Equity Ownership.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.