A real-world, retrospective analysis showed promising efficacy with brentuximab vedotin (Bv) plus bendamustine (B) in third-line treatment and as a bridge to stem cell transplantation (SCT) for patients with multiple relapsed or refractory (RR) classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). The study’s results were published in the European Journal of Haematology.

“The present study is to our knowledge the first to present real-world data on the clinical effectiveness of BvB regimen as third-line or beyond salvage treatment for RR-cHL,” wrote the study investigators in their report.

Medical records for 47 patients were investigated in this multicenter study for baseline characteristics and information on outcomes of overall response, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), safety, and eligibility for SCT following treatment with BvB. Eligible patients had cHL that was primary refractory or that was in at least a second relapse.

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Approximately one-third (34%) of patients had stage 4 disease when initially diagnosed. Patients had received a median of 4 cycles of BvB. The overall response rate was 79%, and complete response was reported for 49% of patients. SCT was performed in 67% of responders and in 2 patients with stable disease.

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The median study follow-up occurred at 19 months. The median PFS was 18 months, the median OS was not reached, and the 2-year OS rate was 72%. Two factors associated with favorable PFS and OS statistics were level of clinical response and receipt of SCT consolidation. Death from cHL occurred in 13% of patients, 11% relapsed, and 27% showed progression.

The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse event in this study was neutropenia, reported in 23% of patients, while 11% had grade 3 or 4 peripheral sensory neuropathy. There were reportedly no deaths attributed to treatment.

The study investigators concluded that this study showed encouraging evidence for the use of BvB in treatment of RR-cHL.


Iannitto E, Romano A, Scalzulli PR, et al. Brentuximab vedotin in association with bendamustine in refractory or multiple relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma. A retrospective real-world study [published online February 27, 2020]. Eur JHaematol. doi: 10.1111/ejh.13400