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Leukemia. 2011 Feb;25(2):226-35. doi: 10.1038/leu.2010.276. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

Histone deacetylase inhibitors for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Epigenetic changes have been identified in recent years as important factors in the pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) regulate the acetylation of histones as well as other non-histone protein targets. Treatment with HDACIs results in chromatin remodeling that permits re-expression of silenced tumor suppressor genes in cancer cells, which, in turn, can potentially result in cellular differentiation, inhibition of proliferation and/or apoptosis. Several classes of HDACIs are currently under development for the treatment of patients with MDS and AML. Although modest clinical activity has been reported with the use of HDACIs as single-agent therapy, marked responses have been observed in selected subsets of patients. More importantly, HDACIs appear to be synergistic in vitro and improve response rates in vivo when combined with other agents, such as hypomethylating agents. Furthermore, HDACIs are also being investigated in combination with non-epigenetic therapies. This article synthesizes the most recent results reported with HDACIs in clinical trials conducted in patients with MDS and other myeloid malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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