In a nutshell
This study compared the effectiveness of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) to chemotherapy in patients with classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL) that came back or stopped responding after a stem cell transplant (SCT). This study concluded that patients treated with brentuximab vedotin had better outcomes compared to patients in the chemotherapy group.
High-dose chemotherapy followed by a SCT remains the standard of care for patients with cHL that has come back or stopped responding to initial treatment. Unfortunately, more than half of these patients experience relapse within the first year after treatment. The typical next step is salvage therapy to help eliminate remaining cancer or induce a response in refractory disease.
Targeted therapy is one salvage therapy option. Brentuximab vedotin is a monoclonal antibody. This type of treatment binds to cancer cells and helps the immune system attack them. This leads to cancer cell death. Whether brentuximab vedotin leads to better survival outcomes compared to chemotherapy for patients with cHL remains under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study analyzed the results of four studies that included patients with progressing cHL after SCT. 107 patients received brentuximab vedotin (BV). 142 patients received chemotherapy. Patients were followed for an average of 5 to 11 years.
Significantly more patients in the BV group were still alive 5 years later compared to patients in the chemotherapy group (92.2% vs. 30.5%). On average, patients in the BV group survived for an average of 114 months compared to 21.5 months in the chemotherapy group.
Significantly more patients in the BV group were still alive 5 years later without tumor growth or spread compared to patients in the chemotherapy group (32.2% vs. 3.2%). On average, patients in the BV group survived for an average of 14.4 months without tumor growth or spread compared to 0.5 months in the chemotherapy group.
BV treatment was associated with a 22% higher treatment response compared to chemotherapy. BV had a 12% higher rate of complete response (disappearance of all signs of cancer).
The bottom line
This study concluded that brentuximab vedotin led to better outcomes than chemotherapy for patients with cHL that came back or stopped responding after SCT.
The fine print
This study was funded by Takeda, the manufacturer of brentuximab vedotin. This study looked back in time to analyze data that was already collected. This may limit the conclusions that may be drawn from these results. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results.
Published By :
British Journal of Haematology
Oct 06, 2019
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