Brentuximab Vedotin Plus Nivolumab May Be Effective Salvage Therapy for Hodgkin Lymphoma

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Among the 60 evaluable patients, the objective response rate was 83%, with CR rate of 62%.
Among the 60 evaluable patients, the objective response rate was 83%, with CR rate of 62%.
The following article features coverage from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2017 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor's conference coverage.

Brentuximab vedotin (BV) plus nivolumab is a well-tolerated and effective salvage therapy option for patients with relapsed/refractory classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (R/R HL), according to findings presented at the 2017 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.1

Nivolumab and BV are effective single agents in R/R HL, and combination therapy may lead to more complete responses (CR) and more durable responses post–autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). 

For this phase 1/2 study ( Identifier: NCT02572167), researchers enrolled 62 patients with R/R HL who progressed after frontline treatment. In parts 1 and 2 of the study, BV and nivolumab were given on cycle 1 day 1 and cycle 1 day 8, respectively, and for cycles 2 to 4, BV and nivolumab were administered on day 1.

Among the 60 evaluable patients, the objective response rate (ORR) was 83%, with CR rate of 62%. 

Almost all study patients had adverse events (AEs) prior to receiving ASCT or salvage therapy; 40 patients had grade 1 or 2 AEs and 19 patients had grade 3 or worse AEs.

Twenty-seven patients had infusion-related reactions (IRRs) leading to infusion interruption for 16 patients; pretreatment with low-dose steroids and antihistamines did not affect the severity or frequency of IRR. No patients discontinued treatment because of IRRs.

Fifty patients had other potentially immune-related AEs such as diarrhea, colitis, AST elevations, and pneumonitis, though no patients discontinued treatment for these reasons.

The median follow-up was 8 months. The median duration of response was not reached and the 6-month progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 89% (95% CI, 75%-95%), though the authors noted that survival data were not mature enough to draw any definitive conclusions. 

The authors concluded that BV plus nivolumab is a well-tolerated and effective salvage strategy, and further had no effect on stem cell collection, mobilization, or engraftment; patients were able to undergo ASCT without incident.

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor's coverage of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2017 meeting by visiting the conference page.


  1. Herrera AF, Moskowitz AJ, Bartlett NL, et al. Results from a phase 1/2 study of brentuximab vedotin in combination with nivolumab in patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma. Oral presentation at: American Society of Hematology 59th Annual Meeting & Exposition; December 9-12, 2017; Atlanta, GA.

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