Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are a rare, heterogeneous group of T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (T-NHL) that display distinct clinical and biological features. Despite a detailed understanding of PTCL transformation, there is no current accepted standard of care for newly diagnosed or relapsed/refractory (r/r) patients. PTCL are highly proliferative neoplasms with an immunosuppressive microenvironment that elaborates drug resistance to current therapies with poor outcomes. Aurora kinases (AKs) are a family of mitotic oncogenic serine/threonine kinases (A, B/C) that are aberrantly expressed in PTCL, providing a growth advantage. Alisertib, an AK-A inhibitor, blocks the mitotic phase of the cell cycle resulting in apoptosis. Preclinical and clinical trials in PTCL demonstrated an ~30% response rate in r/r PTCL similar to other investigational agents. In order to improve response rates, alisertib-based combination therapies were tested with HDAC inhibitors, romidepsin and vorinostat, in phase Ib trials. To improve response rates to alisertib, we evaluated alisertib-induced polyploidy as a drug resistance mechanism by targeting microtubules with vincristine. In addition, we also targeted immunosuppression-induced proliferation with an anti-PD-L1 antibody and PI3K inhibition in PTCL. Targeting aberrant proliferation and immunosuppression is a novel strategy that warrants evaluation in clinical trials for PTCL, an unmet clinical need.
Part of the book: Peripheral T-cell Lymphomas