Phase II Open-Label, Single-Arm Trial to Investigate the Efficacy and Safety of Topical Remetinostat Gel in Patients with Basal Cell Carcinoma. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Kilgour, J. M., Shah, A., Urman, N. M., Eichstadt, S., Do, H. N., Bailey, I., Mirza, A., Li, S., Oro, A. E., Aasi, S. Z., Sarin, K. Y. 2021


PURPOSE: The mainstay of treatment for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is surgical excision, which can result in significant associated morbidity, particularly for patients with recurrent tumors. We previously conducted a drug repositioning screen using molecular data from human BCCs and identified histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as a potential treatment for BCC. Here we conduct the first proof-of-principle study of a topical pan-HDAC inhibitor, remetinostat, in human BCC.PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a phase II, open-label, single-arm, single-institution trial of a topical HDAC inhibitor. Participants with at least one BCC were recruited. All participants applied 1% remetinostat gel three times daily for 6 weeks, with measurements of tumor diameter conducted at baseline and week 8. Surgical excision of the remaining tumor was conducted at the end of the study and microscopic evaluation was performed.RESULTS: Thirty-three per-protocol tumors from 25 participants were included in the analysis. The overall response rate, defined as the proportion of tumors achieving more than 30% decrease in the longest diameter from baseline to week 8, was 69.7% [90% confidence interval (CI), 54%-82.5%]. On pathologic examination, 54.8% of tumors demonstrated complete resolution. Pharmacodynamic analysis demonstrated similar levels of acetylated histone H3 in skin tissue before and after treatment, however, phosphorylation was increased. No systemic adverse events were reported.CONCLUSIONS: The HDAC inhibitor remetinostat is a well-tolerated and effective topical treatment for reducing BCC disease burden in a clinically significant manner. This provides in-human validation of HDAC inhibitors as a therapy for BCC.

View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-0560

View details for PubMedID 34362809