Brentuximab vedotin can normalize positron emission tomography (PET) status in a subset of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma refractory to conventional salvage treatments, a small study published online ahead of print in the journal The Oncologist has shown.1

The standard management of patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma is salvage chemotherapy, such as ifosfamide-containing regimens and cytarabine- and platinum-containing regimens, followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).

Although brentuximab vedotin, a CD30-directed antibody-drug conjugate, has shown a high overall response rate in patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma after undergoing ASCT, there are limited data regarding its use before ASCT.

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For the retrospective, observational, multicenter study, researchers analyzed data from 30 patients with relapsed/refractory ASCT-naïve Hodgkin lymphoma with PET-positive disease after conventional salvage chemotherapy. All patients received brentuximab vedotin for a median of 4 cycles.

Results showed that 30% of patients achieved normalization of PET status (Deauville score 2 or lower), of which all patients underwent ASCT.

“Experience indicates that patients previously regarded as not ideal candidates for transplantation may be able to undergo further cytoreductive therapy using brentuximab vedotin,” the authors conclude.


1. Zinzani PL, Pellegrini C, Cantonetti M, et al. Brentuximab vedotin in transplant-naïve relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma: experience in 30 patients [published online ahead of print October 23, 2015]. Oncologist. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2015-0227.