Patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma who are resistant to the CD30-directed antibody-drug conjugate brentuximab vedotin have poor outcomes, according to a study published in the journal Annals of Oncology.1

Brentuximab vedotin is indicated for the treatment of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma after failure of autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT) or after failure of at least 2 prior multi-agent chemotherapy regimens in patients who are not auto-HCT candidates, and as post-auto–HCT consolidation for those at high risk of relapse or progression. However, the outcomes of patients who experience disease progression after brentuximab vedotin remain unclear.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 100 patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma treated with brentuximab vedotin who were either refractory to treatment or experienced disease relapse. Their median age at progression after brentuximab vedotin was 32 years and they had a median of 3 treatments prior to brentuximab vedotin. Seventy-one patients had previously undergone auto-HCT.

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Results showed that the objective response rate to brentuximab vedotin was 57% with a 3-month median duration of therapy.

Researchers found that after disease progression following brentuximab vedotin, the most common treatment approaches were investigational agents (30%), gemcitabine (15%), and bendamustine (12%). The cumulative objective response rate to subsequent therapy was 33%, with 15% achieving a complete response. Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 3.5 months and 25.2 months, respectively.

The study further demonstrated that age older than 45 years and serum albumin less than 40 g/L at disease progression were associated with increased risk of death.


1. Cheah CY, Chihara D, Horowitz S, et al. Patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma experiencing disease progression after treatment with brentuximab vedotin have poor outcomes [published online ahead of print April 18, 2016]. Ann Oncol. doi:10.1093/annonc/mdw169.