Brentuximab vedotin (Bv) therapy led to an increased frequency of pulmonary toxicity among pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), study findings published in the British Journal of Haematology have shown.

Bv, a widely accepted treatment for R/R HL, leads to improved outcomes and reduced toxicity overall compared with standard salvage regimens. Previous studies have however, demonstrated that Bv in combination with pulmonary toxic chemotherapy agents may have an additive effect, and its effect, particularly in pediatric patients, is unknown. 

For this retrospective study, researchers assessed the outcomes of 19 pediatric and young adult patients with R/R HL. Baseline clinical, demographic and health characteristics, such as prior pulmonary conditions, smoke conditions, and prior atopy were collected. Detailed treatment information, such as treatment exposure and cumulative doses of bleomycin, gemcitabine, and carmustine (BCNU) were also collected. 

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Results showed that 36.8% (7 patients) received Bv, and analysis showed patients exposed to Bv had a nearly 4-fold increased risk of developing pulmonary toxicity compared with patients who were never exposed (P=.17). This finding, however, was not statistically significant, noted the researchers. 

“Given its clinical efficacy, Bv has been incorporated into more upfront and relapsed treatment protocols and understanding potential pulmonary toxicity will be critical to better detect short- and long-term complication of therapy,” they reported.


Faulk KE, Sopfe JM, Campbell K, et al. Pulmonary toxicity in paediatric patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma receiving brentuximab vedotin[published online September 10, 2018]. Br J Haematol. doi: 10.1111/bjh.15586