For patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, brentuximab vedotin is associated with improved progression-free survival when given as early consolidation after autologous stem-cell transplant, according to a study published in The Lancet.

Craig H. Moskowitz, M.D., from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a randomized double-blind trial at 78 sites in North America and Europe to examine whether brentuximab vedotin improves progression-free survival in Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Participants with unfavorable-risk relapsed or primary refractory classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma who had undergone autologous stem-cell transplantation were randomized to 16 cycles of brentuximab vedotin (165 patients) or placebo (164 patients).

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The researchers observed a significant improvement in progression-free survival in the brentuximab vedotin group (hazard ratio, 0.57; P = 0.0013).

Median progression-free survival was 42.9 and 24.1 months for patients in the brentuximab vedotin and placebo group, respectively.

Across subgroups, there was consistent benefit of brentuximab vedotin consolidation. Peripheral sensory neuropathy (56 versus 16 percent) and neutropenia (35 versus 12 percent) were the most frequent adverse events in the brentuximab vedotin group.

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Seventeen percent of patients in the brentuximab vedotin group had died at the time of analysis, compared with 16 percent of patients in the placebo group.

“This treatment provides an important therapeutic option for patients undergoing autologous stem-cell transplantation,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Seattle Genetics and Takeda Pharmaceutical International, both of which provided funding for the study.


  1. Moskowitz, Craig H., MD, et al. “Brentuximab vedotin as consolidation therapy after autologous stem-cell transplantation in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at risk of relapse or progression (AETHERA): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial.” The Lancet. DOI: [epub ahead of print]. March 18, 2015.