IT-901, a novel NF-kB inhibitor, may be effective for treating patients with Richter Syndrome, according to a study presented at the XVII International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (iwCLL).1

Richter Syndrome — the transformation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) into aggressive lymphoma — occurs in up to 10% of patients with CLL. NF-kB is a pathway implicated in this process.

For this in vivo/in vitro study using patient xenograft models, researchers evaluated the activity of IT-901 in leukemic cells. According to Tiziana Vaisitti, PhD, of the University of Turin, Italy, who presented this study, IT-901 “interfered with the transcriptional activity of NF-kB, induced mitochondrial damage and compromised cell respiration, and induced cell apoptosis.”

IT-901 also significantly reduced tumor size among mice injected with the drug.

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Dr Vaisitti noted, however, that alternative pathways for leukemic cell growth were “not checked.”

The authors concluded that “preliminary data show that this compound is active in vivo, in RS-PDX models, significantly reducing tumor growth and suggesting that NF-kB inhibition should be considered as a therapeutic strategy for RS [Richter Syndrome] patients.”


  1. Vaisitti T, Gaudino F, Ouk S, et al. A novel NF-kB inhibitor shows activity in Richter syndrome. Paper presented at: XVII International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; May 12-15, 2017; New York, NY.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor