Treating Adult T-Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma
Name of the Trial
Why This Trial Is Important
In ATLL, HTLV-1 causes abnormal and uncontrolled growth of T cells (immune system cells that normally fight infections and disease). These malignant T cells often express high amounts of a protein called Tac, which is a receptor protein for the immune system hormone interleukin-2.
Denileukin diftitox (Ontak) is a genetically engineered protein that combines segments of interleukin-2 and diphtheria toxin. Diphtheria toxin is a poison made by the same bacterium that causes the disease diphtheria, which can be fatal.
Denileukin diftitox binds to the Tac protein on ATLL cells and is subsequently absorbed by them, causing the cells to die. Researchers hope that administering denileukin diftitox to patients with ATLL will help these patients survive longer.
"Denileukin diftitox is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and it is fairly well tolerated by patients," said Dr. O'Mahony. "We hope that this drug will prove to be a more effective treatment than traditional chemotherapy for patients with ATLL, a rare disease that is usually associated with a poor outcome."
Who Can Join This Trial
Study Site and Contact Information
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