Study Suggests Brentuximab Vedotin May Improve Overall Survival in Patients With Hodgkin Lymphoma

Progression-free survival was longer with brentuximab vedotin and fewer patients with Hodgkin lymphoma in this group received subsequent therapy.

New research from the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center suggests that adding brentuximab vedotin to standard chemotherapy treatment can improve overall survival (OS) rates in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, compared to the current standard of chemotherapy alone.1

Contrary to previous findings, research does show that selecting an initial therapy that includes brentuximab vedotin has a positive impact on OS in patients with advanced stage Hodgkin lymphoma. This finding is regardless of other treatments administered later in the course of treatment, according to the study.1

“Our randomized study showed that the addition of an antibody drug conjugate, brentuximab vedotin, to standard chemotherapy in patients with advanced stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma improved overall survival for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, when compared to patients who received standard chemotherapy alone,” said researcher Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD, in a press release.2

Previous studies found that brentuximab plus doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (AVD) chemotherapy improved progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma, so Ansell said the new finding in OS was not entirely surprising. However, patients who relapse are often successfully treated with additional treatments, so previous comparative studies of other drug combinations did not show an OS benefit.2

The study assigned 664 patients to receive brentuximab vedotin plus AVD (A+AVD) and 670 patients to receive bleomycin plus AVD (ABVD). At a median follow-up of 73 months, 39 patients in the A+AVD arm had died, compared to 64 in the brentuximab vedotin plus AVD group. Furthermore, the 6-year OS estimates were 93.9% in the A+AVD group versus 89.4% in the brentuximab vedotin plus AVD group.1

PFS was longer with A+AVD and fewer patients in the A+AVD group received subsequent therapy, including transplantation, and fewer second cancers were reported in this group.1

“The impact on overall survival with brentuximab vedotin plus AVD chemotherapy is somewhat surprising but it confirms that the use of novel agents in the frontline treatment of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma has a long-term impact,” Ansell said in the press release.2

The researchers also evaluated long-term toxicities of brentuximab vedotin and found that neuropathy due to the drug resolved over time. Furthermore, the number of subsequent pregnancies were not negatively impacted with the addition of brentuximab vedotin.2

“Surprisingly, second malignancies including other lymphomas were less frequently seen in the brentuximab vedotin plus AVD arm of the trial,” Ansell said in the press release.2

References

  1. Ansell S, Radford J, Connors J, et al. Overall Survival with Brentuximab Vedotin in Stage III or IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. New England Journal of Medicine. July 13, 2022. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2206125
  2. Dangor, J. Brentuximab vedotin may improve overall survival in patients with Hodgkin Lymphoma. Mayo Clinic News Network. July 14, 2022. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/brentuximab-vedotin-may-improve-overall-survival-in-patients-with-hodgkin-lymphoma/