The agent, ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin), provides high anti-cancer activity as initial therapy in elderly patients who might not be able to tolerate standard therapy for treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These results were recently published in the journal Blood.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer of the immune system. Standard therapy for Hodgkin’s often includes chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Among the elderly, these types of standard therapies may be difficult to tolerate, resulting in reductions in optimal doses of therapy and/or the refusal of treatment completely.
Lymphoma cells tend to have a type of small protein on their surface, referred to as CD30. ADCETRIS is an agent that binds to the CD30 protein, and then delivers MMAE into the cell (a drug that disrupts the stability of cells). Through its binding action and delivery of MMAE, ADCETRIS kills lymphoma cells.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ADCETRIS for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma among patients who have undergone a stem cell transplant or among those who have experienced a recurrence following at least two prior therapies.
Researchers recently conducted a clinical trial to evaluate ADCETRIS as initial therapy for patients 60 years or older with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The trial included 27 patients who were 60 years or older with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who had not received prior therapy. All patients were treated with ADCETRIS.
Anti-cancer responses were achieved in 92% of patients. Complete disappearances of detectable cancer occurred in 73% of patients.
At the time of the latest evaluation, the median time of survival without progression of cancer was 10.5 months. The median time of overall survival has not yet been reached.
The researchers concluded that ADCETRIS may be an effective and easily tolerated treatment option to be used as initial therapy among patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This may be particularly important for elderly patients who are at risk of not tolerating standard therapies.
Reference: Forero-Torres A, Holkova B, Goldschmidt J, et al. Phase 2 study of frontline brentuximab vedotin monotherapy in Hodgkin lymphoma patients aged 60 years and older. Blood. Accessed online September 19, 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-06-644336.
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