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.

Continue Reading

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

Related Articles

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.


  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.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor