A phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of peldesine (BCX-34) cream as topical therapy for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
BACKGROUND: The purine nucleoside phosphorylase inhibitor peldesine is a new agent being evaluated as a T-cell inhibitor. OBJECTIVE: We attempted to determine the efficacy of peldesine (BCX-34) in a 1% dermal cream formulation as a treatment for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). METHODS: Ninety patients with patch and plaque phase CTCL, histologically confirmed by a referee dermatopathologist, were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. BCX-34 dermal cream 1% or the vehicle cream (as a placebo control) was applied twice daily to the entire skin surface for up to 24 weeks. Efficacy of the topical therapy was assessed in terms of complete or partial (> or = 50%) clearing of patches and plaques. RESULTS: Of the 89 patients able to be examined, 43 received BCX-34 and 46 received the placebo vehicle cream. One patient withdrew early and was not analyzed. The two groups were well balanced for potential prognostic factors. A total of 28% (12/43) of the patients treated with BCX-34 showed a response, but 24% (11/46) of patients who received vehicle also responded (P =.677). CONCLUSION: Although BCX-34 dermal cream 1% was not significantly better than the control as therapy for patch and plaque-phase CTCL, this appears to be the first published placebo-controlled trial evaluating treatment for CTCL. Whether the vehicle cream has more than a placebo therapeutic effect is unclear. The relatively high (24%) placebo response rate should be kept in mind in assessing other treatments for early-stage CTCL.
Duvic, M; Olsen, EA; Omura, GA; Maize, JC; Vonderheid, EC; Elmets, CA; Shupack, JL; Demierre, MF; Kuzel, TM; Sanders, DY
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