February 15th 2010
Shabason and colleagues’ review of the development of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as treatment for cancers is timely, with an emphasis on therapeutic strategies combining HDAC inhibitors and radiation therapy. As the authors indicate, vorinostat (Zolinza)-originally known as suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, or SAHA-was the first of the HDAC inhibitors approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use in the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). In November 2009, a second HDAC inhibitor-romidepsin (Istodax)-received FDA approval for the treatment of CTCL. Currently there is a great deal of competition in the HDAC inhibitor field, as several new and, hopefully, more effective compounds are being developed and entering clinical trials.