T follicular helper phenotype predicts response to histone deacetylase inhibitors in relapsed/refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma

Lymphoma
01/10/2020

Blood Adv. 2020 Oct 13;4(19):4640-4647. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002396.

ABSTRACT

Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are active agents for peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). Anecdotally angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) appears to respond better than PTCL-not otherwise specified (NOS) to HDACi. The new World Health Organization classification shows that a subgroup of PTCL carries similarities in phenotype and gene expression profiling to AITL, comparable to T follicular helper (TFH) cells. The disease might behave similarly to AITL when treated with HDACi. We


analyzed 127 patients with AITL or PTCL-NOS treated with HDACi at relapse as a single agent or in combination. We re-reviewed the pathology of all PTCL-NOS to identify the TFH phenotype. Patients received HDACi at relapse as a single agent in 97 cases (76%, 59 TFH, 38 non-TFH) or in combination in 30 cases (24%, 18 TFH, 12 non-TFH) including duvelisib, lenalidomide, lenalidomide plus carfilzomib, and pralatrexate. Seven PTCL-NOS had TFH phenotype; 2 PTCL-NOS were reclassified as AITL. Overall response rate (ORR) was 56.5% (28.9% complete response [CR]) in TFH and 29.4% (19.6% CR) in non-TFH phenotype patients (P = .0035), with TFH phenotype being an independent predictor of ORR (P = .009). Sixteen patients sufficiently responded to HDACi or HDACi in combination with another agent to proceed directly to allogeneic transplantation; 1 of 16 responded to donor lymphocyte infusion (12 TFH, 4 non-TFH). Our results, although retrospective, support that HDACi, as a single agent or in combination, may have superior activity in TFH-PTCL compared with non-TFH PTCL. This differential efficacy could help inform subtype-specific therapy and guide interpretation of HDACi trials.