Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) includes a spectrum of non-Hodgkin’s T-cell lymphomas. While most patients with CTCL experience non-life threatening skin symptoms, those who do progress to later stages of the disease may develop serious complications. For patients with tumor stage or lymph node involvement there is a significant decline in treatment response & few treatment options are available. Current available therapeutic options include the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as Romidepsin, Panobinostat and Vorinostat. However, their mechanism of action is still unknown. The role of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in cell biology, initially limited to their effects upon histones, now encompasses more complex regulatory functions that are dependent on their tissue expression, cellular compartment distribution, pathophysiological conditions and stage of cellular differentiation. Although major advances have been made in understanding the role of specific HDACs in cell proliferation and the survival of cancer cells, their individual participation in specific intracellular pathways is not completely understood. Here we present data demonstrating the changes in several immune-related pathways in two CTCL cell lines after exposure to both pan-HDAC inhibitors and selective HDAC6 inhibitors.

We compared the pharmacological effects of the pan-HDAC inhibitor LBH589 (Panbinostat), the class I selective Romidepsin, and the selective HDAC6 inhibitors such as TubastatinA and NexturstatB, on two CTCL cell lines (HuT78, HuT102). Our findings thus far demonstrate the following: First, we observed a marked inhibition of proliferation capacity of both cell lines when treated with either pan-HDACi or the more selective HDAC6 inhibitors. However, the selective HDAC6 inhibitors showed less cytotoxicity. Second, we observed important changes in the expression of the co-inhibitory molecules, such as PD-L1. Given our results, we conclude that the selective targeting of HDAC6 could recapitulate the anti-tumor effects of pan-HDAC inhibitors without having the non-target cytotoxic effects often encountered when using pan-HDAC inhibitors.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

Sign in via your Institution