Pentostatin in T-non-Hodgkin's lymphomas: Efficacy and effect on CD26 + T lymphocytes

Nam H. Dang*, Fredrick B. Hagemeister, Madeleine Duvic, Jorge E. Romaguera, Anas Younes, Dan Jones, Barry Samuels, Luis E. Fayad, Barbara Pro, Felipe Samaniego, Andreas Sarris, Andre Goy, Peter Mclaughlin, Ann T. Tong, Pamela L. Walker, Lili Paz Tiongson, Terry L. Smith, Yang O. Huh, Chikao Morimoto, Maria A. Rodriguez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Pentostatin is an adenosine deaminase (ADA) inhibitor with antineoplastic activity. CD26 is a surface glycoprotein with a key role in T cell function as the ADA binding protein. We conducted a phase II study to evaluate pentostatin efficacy in relapsed T-non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (T-NHL) and to correlate response with tumor CD26 expression. We also examined the lymphopenic effect of pentostatin on CD26+ T lymphocytes. Eighteen patients were registered for the study. Pentostatin was administered as intravenous bolus daily over 3 days at an initial dose of 5 mg/m2/day, repeated every 4 weeks. CD26 surface expression on tumor cells and T lymphocytes was determined by flow cytometry. Out of 14 patients evaluable for response, there was 1 (7%) complete response (CR) and 6 (43%) partial responses (PR). Median progression-free survival for responders was 6 months (range: 2-15 months); median number of courses was 4 (range: 1-6). Responders included 1 of 2 CD26+ and 5 of 9 CD26- cases. Pentostatin also specifically depleted CD26 + rather than CD26- T lymphocytes, potentially associated with immunosuppression. We therefore conclude that while pentostatin is a safe and active agent for T-NHL regardless of CD26 expression, it may selectively deplete CD26+ T lymphocytes, with potentially significant clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1513-1518
Number of pages6
JournalOncology reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • ADA
  • CD26
  • Pentostatin
  • T lymphocytes
  • T-NHL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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