Chemotherapy for Recurrent or Treatment-Resistant Lymphomas
Name of the Trial
Why Is This Trial Important?
In this trial, researchers are trying to determine whether a new drug called UCN-01 will help kill cancer cells in patients who have a type of lymphoma called anaplastic large cell lymphoma. This type of lymphoma starts in white blood cells called T cells. Anaplastic lymphoma primarily affects children. UCN-01 belongs to a group of drugs called protein kinase inhibitors. Protein kinases are enzymes in cells that help activate or deactivate other proteins, which may play a role in tumor cell growth.
"Protein kinases are like switches that turn other proteins on or off," said Dr. Wilson. "A number of tumor cells have these switches abnormally turned on or off, and this abnormal activity contributes to the survival of the tumor.
"In anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a protein kinase called ALK is turned on all the time. We hope that UCN-01 will inhibit the action of this abnormally activated kinase and cause the tumor cell to enter apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
"We are also interested in seeing if this drug will be useful against other T-cell lymphomas."
Who Can Join This Trial?
Where Is This Trial Taking Place?
An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at http://cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/ft-all-featured-trials.