On March 15, 2012 in San Diego, CA the United States Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium (USCLC) held its Annual Workshop entitled: CD30+ Lymphoproliferative Disorders (LPD): Controversies and Progress. The recent approval of a novel antibody-drug conjugate that targets CD30, brentuximab vedotin (ADCETRIS, Seattle Genetics), and the recent joint publication of a new set of international clinical practice guidelines for CD30+ LPD by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas (ISCL) and the USCLC ensured high participation and a very robust, informative discussion.
Click here for a full summary of USCLC Annual Workshop highlights.
Many cutaneous lymphoma patients suffer from itch, which can oftentimes be debilitating and significantly diminish quality of life. That’s why it’s very exciting to see the recent announcement by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of two major grants that will fund itch research.
As stated by the NIH, this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will support basic and translational studies aimed at understanding the mechanisms of itch sensation and developing methods to modulate and control itch sensation in disease and rehabilitation. The purpose is to accelerate discovery in this nascent field and to apply new knowledge to improve human conditions relevant to the National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) mission.
Commenting on this news, Pierluigi Porcu, MD, the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation’s Medical Affairs Research Committee Chair and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, had this to share:
“This is an important and timely research funding initiative by the NIH/NIAMS, which should be welcome by all stakeholders in the cutaneous lymphoma community. It is exciting that talent and resources are being invested in the study of a symptom that continues to negatively affect the quality of life of so many of our patients. The fact that this initiative stems from an exploratory roundtable discussion sponsored by NIAMS less than two years ago shows that good ideas can move forward quickly, and that the research community is ready for the task. The FOA covers all the fundamental aspects of the itch problem – from mechanisms and triggers, to neural transmission and perception, all the way to pharmacological modulation and treatment. The FOA specifically encourages a multidisciplinary approach, which aligns perfectly with the vision of the Cutaneous Lymhoma Foundation.”
In a recent article published by the Skin & Allergy News, there’s good news for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) patients suffering from itch. Aprepitant (Emend®) is approved as a drug that is effective in treating nausea and vomiting for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Now there is a growing body of data showing the drug to have a high response in patients with itching resistant to standard treatment including corticosteroids, UV therapy and antihistamines. Recent studies of aprepitant with promising results included patients with mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome, two of the most common forms of CTCL.
Sometime during the week of June 27, 2011, a supply interruption of ONTAK Drug Product occurred. Eisai, the drug's manufacturer, has encountered challenges in the production of ONTAK and is actively working to resolve the manufacturing issue. For more information on this supply interruption, click here.
Lundbeck, manufacturer of Mustargen®, the original brand of mechlorethamine, is currently working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to gain approval of the transfer of production of Mustargen® to a new manufacturing site after the company’s previous contractor discontinued commercial manufacturing of the product. Additional updates on Mustargen® will be provided as they become available.
Currently, compounding pharmacies in the U.S. are using USP mechlorethamine obtained from their wholesale suppliers to compound mechlorethamine ointment for topical use in CTCL.
We have been made aware of problems with the availability of Bexarotene (Targretin®) from pharmacies whose wholesalers do not stock the drug. For more information, click here.
A new “Skin Advocate iPhone App” has been developed that allows medical professionals and others to quickly and electronically provide patients with information about the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation. There is no cost involved. Just search the iPhone App store for "dermatology" or "skin advocate." Click here for additional instructions on how to download the app. Thank you in advance for using this app to refer patients, caregivers and others to the Foundation. And, please help spread the word to your colleagues to help us use this resource to its fullest potential.