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Cancer and Vorinostat

Some adults may receive a medicine called vorinostat (Zolinza®) to treat a cancer of the blood that affects the skin. Specifically, this prescription drug is approved to treat a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
 
Although this chemotherapy drug has not been shown to improve survival and is not a cure for this form of cancer, vorinostat may help improve skin problems caused by this lymphoma. People with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma usually have red, itchy, rash-like patches of skin. They may also have tumors on the skin. In some cases, the lymph nodes may be swollen.
 
Vorinostat works by altering the structure of important proteins involved in gene expression -- the process by which the information contained in genes is interpreted. It may stop cancer cells from reproducing and cause cell death.
 
(Click What Is Vorinostat Used For? to learn more about how vorinostat can treat this type of cancer. This article also lists some unapproved, or "off-label," uses and talks about whether the medicine is safe for use in older adults and children.)
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