In a nutshell
This study aimed to investigate the safety and effectiveness of the BGD (bendamustine, gemcitabine, and dexamethasone) regimen in patients with previously treated Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). This study concluded that BGD is well-tolerated and highly effective in these patients.
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes. In relapsed/refractory (R/R) HL, patients do not respond to the standard treatment or relapse after an initial response. Salvage chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) are options to treat R/R HL. However, the standard for salvage chemotherapy before HSCT is still not well established.
Currently, platinum-based chemotherapy such as cisplatin (Platinol) together with gemcitabine (Gemzar) and dexamethasone (Decadron) have been used as salvage chemotherapy regimens for R/R HL. However, the complete response rates are rather low. Bendamustine (Treanda) is a commonly used first-line chemotherapy for HL treatment. The safety and effectiveness of the combination of bendamustine, gemcitabine, and dexamethasone (BGD) as salvage chemotherapy to treat R/R HL are still unknown.
Methods & findings
This study involved 92 patients with R/R HL. All patients received BGD chemotherapy after an average of 2 previous lines of therapy. The average follow-up was 18 months.
The overall response rate (ORR) at the end of BGD therapy was 80.4%. 55.4% of patients had a complete response (complete disappearance of cancer). 80% of the patients who responded to BGD therapy maintained their response for at least 6 months.
The average survival without cancer worsening was 21 months. 45.7% of patients underwent an autologous HSCT (stem cells transplanted from the patient) and 17.4% had an allogeneic HSCT (stem cells from a donor).
69.6% of patients reported side effects. Most of these were mild and included low blood cell counts, infections, skin rash, and fatigue.
The bottom line
The study concluded that BGD is a highly effective and well-tolerated therapy for patients with R/R HL. The authors suggested that it can serve as a bridge to HSCT.
The fine print
This study included a small number of participants. Also, there was no comparison group.
Published By :
Annals of Hematology
Feb 24, 2021
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