In a nutshell
This study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) plus chemotherapy for patients with advanced (stage 3 – 4) Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL). This study concluded that this treatment is effective for these patients.
The most commonly used frontline chemotherapy regimen for advanced HL is ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine). However, bleomycin is associated with serious lung side effects. Brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) replaces bleomycin in a new regimen called A+AVD.
Brentuximab vedotin is a monoclonal antibody. This type of treatment binds the cancer cell, leading to cancer cell death. The safety and effectiveness of the A+AVD regimen for patients with advanced HL remain under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study involved 497 North American patients with newly diagnosed advanced HL. 250 patients received A+AVD. 247 patients received ABVD (without brentuximab vedotin). Patients were followed-up for an average of 24.7 months.
Overall, more patients in the A+AVD group had a complete response (disappearance of all signs of cancer) compared to the ABVD group (72% vs. 67%). 2-year progression-free survival (patients still alive 2 years later without tumor growth or spread) was significantly higher in the A+AVD group compared to the ABVD group (88.1% vs. 76.4%). A+AVD treatment was associated with a 50% lower risk of tumor growth or spread.
2-year overall survival (patients still alive 2 years later) was slightly higher in the A+AVD group than in the ABVD group (97.0% vs. 93.2%).
More patients in the A+AVD group experienced severe side effects compared to the ABVD group (81% vs. 67%). The most common ones were low white blood cell count with fever (20% vs. 9%) and numbness or tingling of the hands and feet (80% vs. 56%). Fewer patients in the A+AVD group had severe lung side effects compared to the A+AVD group (3% vs. 10%).
The bottom line
This study concluded that the A+AVD regimen is an effective frontline (primary) treatment option for patients with advanced HL.
The fine print
This study received support from Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the manufacturer of brentuximab vedotin.
Published By :
Clinical Cancer Research
Jan 07, 2019
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