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Brentuximab vedotin boosts elderly Hodgkin survival



For elderly patients with untreated Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), adding brentuximab vedotin (Bv) before and after standard chemotherapy significantly improved survival, a recent study found.

In patients with low comorbidity scores, responses were even more robust, reported Andrew M. Evens, DO, of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick and his colleagues.

“Causes of poor outcomes for older patients with HL are not fully understood but have been attributed to a combination of factors, including presence of comorbidities, poorer performance status, disease and biological differences, inability to tolerate chemotherapy at the full dose, and increased treatment-related toxicities,” the authors wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The primary goal of the study was to improve outcomes for untreated, older patients, a group that’s historically been a difficult-to-treat patient population.

The phase 2 trial included 48 elderly patients (median age, 69 years) with Hodgkin lymphoma. All patients underwent geriatric assessment for comorbidities and loss of activities of daily living. Treatment consisted of two doses of Bv followed by six cycles of doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (AVD), then four more doses of Bv (consolidation doses). The primary endpoint was complete remission at completion of AVD. Secondary outcomes included overall response rate, 2-year progression-free survival, 2-year overall survival, and safety.

Just over half of the patients (52%) completed all cycles of therapy, and almost three-quarters (72%) received at least one consolidation dose of Bv.

Among the first 23 evaluable patients, both the complete remission rate and overall response rate were 96%. Intention-to-treat survival rates for all 48 patients were 84% for 2-year progression-free survival and 93% for 2-year overall survival.


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