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What Is Vorinostat Used For?

Adults who have a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may receive vorinostat. This chemotherapy medicine is specifically approved for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma when the cancer has not improved, becomes worse, or has returned after treatment with at least two other medications. Using vorinostat will not cure this cancer, but it can help relieve symptoms and prevent cancer cells from multiplying.

An Overview of Uses for Vorinostat

Vorinostat (Zolinza®) is a prescription medication approved to treat the symptoms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. It is reserved for use when this cancer has come back, did not improve, or got worse after treatment with at least two other medicines.

What Is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a cancer that occurs when cells in the lymphatic system (part of the body's immune system) become abnormal and grow out of control. The lymphatic system includes lymph nodes, bone marrow, and the spleen. In addition, lymphatic tissue is found in other parts of the body, including the skin. Lymphoma can start almost anywhere this tissue is present.
Lymphoma is generally divided into the following two types:
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell.
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which includes several types of lymphoma that are generally grouped by the type of lymphocyte (a kind of white blood cell) involved. The two main types of lymphocytes are B-cells and T-cells.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that involves the T-cells found in the skin. It is a broad term that encompasses several different conditions, the most common being mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome. 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 has been shown to improve skin problems due to cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. It is unknown whether the medicine prolongs survival.
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Vorinostat Drug Information

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