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Brentuximab Vedotin is ‘Great Stride’ Toward Improving Lymphoma Outcomes

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September 4, 2020

This treatment adds another effective tool to oncologists’ armamentarium

  • Brentuximab vedotin targets CD30 on the surface of lymphoma cells
  • It has been approved for refractory or relapsed Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and is now also approved for frontline treatment
  • This therapy also treats non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but only in patients with CD30-positive cancers
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Brentuximab vedotin has added considerably to the lymphoma treatment options available to oncologists. The drug was initially approved for the treatment of relapsed Hodgkin’s lymphoma following a stem cell transplant or, in patients who could not have a transplant, for those who had already undergone two or more chemotherapy treatments. In 2018, the FDA expanded the use of Adcetris to include the frontline treatment of patients with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

This therapy can also be used in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leading cancer specialist, Dr. Sairah Ahmed of MD Anderson Cancer Center, tells SurvivorNet Connect. But there is a catch. “It is targeting CD30, and so you have to have CD30 positivity,” she says.

Brentuximab vedotin is an antibody-drug conjugate that binds to the protein CD30 on the surface of cancer cells, and releases its toxin into the cells to kill them. CD30 is found in T-cell lymphomas, NK/T-cell lymphomas, and some large cell lymphomas. “Clinical trials with the combination of brentuximab plus conventional chemotherapy have shown a considerable improvement over CHOP, which is the conventional chemotherapy that has been used for many years in T-cell lymphoma,” Dr. Ahmed adds. “This is a great stride in terms of improving outcomes for that particular disease.”