Drug approved as part of frontline therapy for HL


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Brentuximab vedotin

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) in combination with doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine as a frontline treatment option for CD30-positive Hodgkin lymphoma (HL).

The approval was based on the phase 3 ECHELON-1 trial.

Result from ECHELON-1 were presented at the 2017 ASH Annual Meeting and simultaneously published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

In this trial, researchers compared brentuximab vedotin plus doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (A+AVD) to doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) as frontline treatment for 1334 patients with advanced HL.

The primary endpoint was modified progression-free survival (PFS), which was defined as time to progression, death, or evidence of non-complete response after completion of frontline therapy followed by subsequent anticancer therapy.

According to an independent review committee, A+AVD provided a significant improvement in modified PFS compared to ABVD. The hazard ratio was 0.77 (P=0.035), which corresponds to a 23% reduction in the risk of progression, death, or the need for additional anticancer therapy.

The 2-year modified PFS rate was 82.1% in the A+AVD arm and 77.2% in the ABVD arm.

There was no significant difference between the treatment arms when it came to response rates or overall survival.

The objective response rate was 86% in the A+AVD arm and 83% in the ABVD arm (P=0.12). The complete response rate was 73% and 70%, respectively (P=0.22).

The interim 2-year overall survival rate was 97% in the A+AVD arm and 95% in the ABVD arm (hazard ratio=0.72; P=0.19).

The overall incidence of adverse events (AEs) was 99% in the A+AVD arm and 98% in the ABVD arm. The incidence of grade 3 or higher AEs was 83% and 66%, respectively, and the incidence of serious AEs was 43% and 27%, respectively.

Neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, and peripheral neuropathy were more common with A+AVD, while pulmonary toxicity was more common with ABVD.

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