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Posted by on Jun 19, 2018 in Hodgkin's lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the effects of pre-stem cell transplantation (pre-SCT) treatment with brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) and bendamustine (Treanda) on patients with relapsing/refractory Hodgkin's Lymphoma (HL) following transplant. The main finding was that the drug combination was effective as a pre-SCT therapy.

Some background

Patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma are often cured by chemotherapy. However, some may not respond to chemotherapy (refractory), while others may lose response over time (relapsing). Common therapy for refractory/relapsing (RR) HL patients is stem cell transplantation (SCT). This involves the transfer of stem cells to the patient from a donor. Being in complete remission (CR; meaning that no evidence of cancer remains) following pre-SCT chemotherapy is linked with positive outcomes for the patient after transplantation. Brentuximab vedotin (BV; Adcetris) is a targeted therapy drug. This means it can attack cancer cells without harming normal cells. Bendamustine (Treanda) is an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug commonly used for HL.  It is important to investigate the effect of different types of pre-SCT treatment on HL patient outcomes.

Methods & findings

Fifty-five unresponsive patients with HL were included. One cycle of treatment lasted 21 days. It involved patients receiving BV plus bendamustine on the first day and bendamustine again on the second day. Patients had up to 6 cycles of treatment. After 2 cycles, patients underwent SCT. Patients could then be treated with BV alone for up to 16 cycles.

After an average of 2 cycles, 92.5% of patients responded to BV plus bendamustine treatment. Almost 74% of patients were in CR. Forty patients received SCT. An average of 10 cycles of BV alone was administered to 31 patients.  After 2 years, 69.8% of the patients who had the SCT survived without the HL getting worse. Immune reactions due to the patient getting the drugs via infusion into the vein happened in 56.4% of patients.

The bottom line

This study suggested that the combination of both BV and bendamustine is an effective pre-SCT treatment for unresponsive HL.

The fine print

There was no control group of patients to compare the results to. Therefore, it is unknown if the combination treatment is more effective than other available treatments.

What’s next?

If you have questions about the management of Hodgkin's lymphoma, please consult your doctor. 

Published By :


Date :

Apr 27, 2018

Original Title :

Brentuximab vedotin plus bendamustine: a highly active first salvage regimen for relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma.

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