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Brentuximab vedotin boosted PET-negative rate in Hodgkin




CHICAGO – Brentuximab vedotin appears to be safe and effective in eradicating residual disease after induction chemotherapy and may replace radiation for consolidation in patients with limited stage non-bulky Hodgkin lymphoma, Dr. Steven I. Park reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

After two cycles of ABVD [doxorubicin (Adriamycin), bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine], 72% of 40 evaluable patients achieved PET-negative disease. After completing brentuximab vedotin therapy, 90% of patients had PET-negative disease. With a median follow-up of 12 months, the estimated 1-year progression-free survival rate is 91%, and the overall survival rate is 96%.

The current standard therapy for limited stage Hodgkin lymphoma is about 4-6 cycles of chemotherapy with or without consolidative radiation therapy. The goal of the study was to reduce the number of cycles of chemotherapy and avoid radiation therapy, which has an unclear overall survival advantage and risks long-term side effects, noted Dr. Park of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In this phase II multicenter study, 41 patients with previously untreated limited stage non-bulky Hodgkin lymphoma received ABVD followed by brentuximab vedotin (NCT01578967). Study patients’ median age was 29 years (range 19-67), and 46% presented with unfavorable disease. Over 90% of patients received four or fewer cycles of ABVD, and one patient received radiation due to disease progression.

Grade 3 or higher toxicities associated with brentuximab vedotin included neutropenia in three patients and peripheral neuropathy and rash in one patient each. One patient developed pancreatitis and died due to sepsis and hepatic failure, a rare complication of brentuximab vedotin that cautions regarding its use in patients with hepatic function limitations, Dr. Park said.

According to Seattle Genetics, the maker of brentuximab vedotin, the drug is an anti-CD30 monoclonal antibody attached by a protease-cleavable linker to the cytotoxic agent monomethyl auristatin E, which leads to target cell death when internalized into CD30-expressing tumor cells.

Dr. Park disclosed research funding from Seattle Genetics, the maker of brentuximab vedotin, as well as Teva.

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