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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Journal of Hematology and Oncology.

Volume 9, Issue 1, 10 March 2016, Article number 243.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/s13045-016-0243-8

Copyright © Foss et al. 2016

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


BACKGROUND: Achievement of durable responses in patients with relapsed/refractory peripheral T cell lymphoma (PTCL) is challenging with current therapies, and there are few data regarding the potential benefits of continuing treatment in patients with the best response of stable disease (SD). Histone deacetylase inhibitors are a novel class of drugs with activity in T cell malignancies. Romidepsin was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of relapsed/refractory PTCL based on a pivotal trial demonstrating an objective response rate of 25 % (33/130), including 15 % with confirmed/unconfirmed complete response and a median duration of response of 28 months. Our objective was to further study the clinical benefits of romidepsin in patients that had the best response of SD.

METHODS: Patients with PTCL relapsed/refractory to ≥1 prior therapy were treated with the approved dose of 14 mg/m(2) romidepsin on days 1, 8, and 15 of six 28-day cycles; patients with SD or response after cycle 6 were allowed to continue on study until progression. By protocol amendment, patients treated for ≥12 cycles could receive maintenance dosing twice per cycle; after cycle 24, dosing could be further reduced to once per cycle in those who had received maintenance dosing for ≥6 months.

RESULTS: Of the 32 patients (25 %) with the best response of SD, 22 had SD for ≥90 days (SD90; cycle 4 response assessment). The longest SD was >3 years in a patient who received maintenance dosing of 14 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 15 beginning in cycle 13. Patients with the best response of SD90 or partial response achieved similar overall and progression-free survival. Prolonged dosing of romidepsin was well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that patients who achieve SD may consider continuing treatment because the clinical benefits of romidepsin may extend beyond objective responses.


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