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What is Zolinza?

Zolinza (vorinostat) is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. Some cancer cells display excess HDAC activity, which affects cell growth. In laboratory studies, Zolinza has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and to induce cell death.

Zolinza is made by Merck and is FDA approved for the treatment of another cancer, a type of lymphoma. Other names for Zolinza are SAHA (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid) and MK0683. Zolinza is an oral drug that is taken once a day with food.

Merck is no longer pursuing an FDA indication in multiple myeloma. However, since Zolinza is FDA-approved for another cancer, doctors may prescribe it off-label for myeloma based on the data supporting its effectiveness. In addition, researchers are continuing to evaluate Zolinza in combination with various myeloma agents in clinical trials, so patients may receive Zolinza as part of a clinical trial.

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium has supported the development of Zolinza in multiple myeloma and participated in a phase II trial demonstrating its utility.