Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment Could Enhance Standard of Care

Patients who received brentuximab vedotin post-transplant lived longer without disease progression than those on supportive care.

Patients who received brentuximab vedotin post-transplant lived longer without disease progression than those on supportive care.

A recent trial found that the addition of maintenance therapy following a transplant can improve outcomes in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients.

In a study presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, researchers revealed that patients who received brentuximab vedotin (BV) post-transplant lived longer without disease progression than did patients who only received supportive care. BV acts as an antibody that targets the CD30 protein found on HL cells.

The prior standard of care for HL patients who relapsed or who didn’t respond to initial therapy called for high doses of chemotherapy followed by an autologous transplant. No current standard of care exists, however, for other patients at risk of disease progression after transplant.

"Immense progress has been made to reduce complications for transplant patients," study lead Craig H. Moskowitz, MD, said in a press release. "For most people, a transplant can cure disease. But despite our best efforts, improvements in outcomes have plateaued and new therapies are needed."

The trial enrolled a total of 327 patients randomized to receive either BV or the best supportive care following transplant. All of the patients had either relapsed or did not respond to at least 1 previous therapy.

Additionally, the patients were either in remission or with stable, non-progressing disease following salvage chemotherapy before transplant.

After a median follow-up of 2 years, patients in the BV group showed a 20% improvement without disease progression compared with patients in the supportive care group, with a progression-free survival rate of 65% versus 45%. Furthermore, 88% of patients who received BV are still alive.

Adverse events were reported in less than 15% of patients and included peripheral sensory neuropathy, upper respiratory tract infection, neutropenia, and fatigue.

"The results of this trial have the potential to change current practice," Dr. Moskowitz said. "I am excited about the prospect of bringing this new therapy to all patients with hard-to-treat Hodgkin lymphoma."