The epigenetics of multiple myeloma and the rationale for HDAC inhibitors

Andrew Spencer, MD, PhD from the Monash University, Melbourne, Australia provides an overview of his talk on epigenetics and HDAC inhibitors in multiple myeloma (MM) held at the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2016 Annual Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark. Prof Spencer talks about the methylation of DNA, translational changes in histones and the abnormalities present in myeloma. According to Prof Spencer, there is a marked abnormality in the methylone in myeloma and a number of histone deacetylase (HDACs) are overexpressed, whereby the overexpression of HDAC1 is associated with poor outcome. He further discusses the rationale behind combining HDAC inhibitors with proteasome inhibitors and preliminary data on autophagy. Prof Spencer also outlines a Phase II trial of panobinostat as a single agent in patients who have had induction therapy and an autologous transplant but had a poor response, which showed that after six months, 50% of patients converted to very good partial or complete response (CR).

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