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Posted by on Nov 8, 2018 in Hodgkin's lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study evaluated the outcomes of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) treatment for patients with relapsed (recurrent) or progressive (tumor grows or spreads) Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) after allogeneic (allo) stem cell transplantation (SCT). This study concluded that brentuximab vedotin is safe and effective for these patients.

Some background

High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous (auto) SCT is the typical next step for patients with HL who fail first-line (primary) treatment. However, patients who experience disease progression after autoSCT tend to have poor outcomes. For these patients, alloSCT is recommended.

AlloSCT involves replacing the patient’s cancer cells with healthy stem cells from a donor. Unfortunately, treatment remains challenging for patients who relapse or experience disease progression after alloSCT. Brentuximab vedotin is a targeted therapy. This type of treatment binds to cancer cells, leading to cancer cell death. The effectiveness and safety of brentuximab vedotin in patients who with relapse or progression after alloSCT remain under investigation.

Methods & findings

This study involved 184 patients with relapsed or progressive HL after undergoing alloSCT. Patients had received an average of 4 previous lines of therapy before alloSCT. 80 patients (43.5%) received brentuximab vedotin after alloSCT. The rest of 104 (56.5%) patients did not (control group). Patients were followed-up for an average of 29 months.

In the brentuximab vedotin group, 17 patients achieved a complete response (disappearance of all signs of cancer). 26 patients achieved a partial response (tumor shrinkage) and 15 patients had stable disease. At follow-up, 71% of patients who achieved a complete response remained in remission at the last follow-up visit.

1-year overall survival (patients still alive 1 year later) was not significantly different in the brentuximab vedotin group compared to the control group (76% vs. 67%). However, at follow-up, significantly more patients who received brentuximab vedotin after alloSCT were alive and in remission compared to patients who did not (34% vs. 18%).

More patients in the brentuximab vedotin group developed chronic (long-lasting) graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) compared to the control group (35% vs. 28%). GVHD is a condition where the donated stem cells attack the patient’s healthy cells. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that brentuximab vedotin is safe and effective for patients with HL who develop disease recurrence or progression after alloSCT.

The fine print

This study was retrospective, meaning it looked back in time to analyze data.

Published By :


Date :

Oct 23, 2018

Original Title :

Brentuximab vedotin for recurrent Hodgkin lymphoma after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A report from the EBMT Lymphoma Working Party.

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