Adcetris Plus Opdivo and Chemo May Improve Treatment Response in Early-Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma


A significant majority of patients with early-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma demonstrated a complete response to treatment with Adcetris, Opdivo and chemotherapy.

Most patients with early-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma responded to frontline treatment of the antibody-drug conjugate Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) plus Opdivo (nivolumab) and chemotherapy, findings from a recent trial demonstrated.

Among the 150 patients with early-stage disease assessed in this part of the SGN35-027 study, there was an overall response rate (the percentage of patients with a complete or partial response to treatment) of 98% and a complete response rate (the disappearance of all signs of cancer) of 93% at the end of treatment, according to a news release from Seagen, the manufacturer of Adcetris.

“With teens and young adults primarily impacted by Hodgkin lymphoma, our goal is to develop curative treatments that improve survival while also reducing toxicity,” Dr. Jeremy Abramson, director of the Jon and Jo Ann Hagler Center for Lymphoma at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and principal investigator of the trial, said in the release. “The targeted agents of (Adcetris) and (Opdivo) have distinct mechanisms of action and demonstrated promising activity and safety in this early study.

The most common treatment-related side effects, which were reported in more than 30% of patients, included peripheral sensory neuropathy (damage to nerves outside the spinal cord and brain that may cause weakness, pain and numbness in the feet and hands; 47%), nausea (65%) and fatigue (44%), according to the release. Of note, reports of peripheral sensory neuropathy were considered low grade, with 3% of occurrences considered severe or worse.

No patients reported febrile neutropenia (fever and low levels of neutrophils in the blood) nor any side effects resulting in death.

“The omission of bleomycin and vinblastine chemotherapy likely contributed to the absence of certain adverse events,” Abramson said in the release.

Immune-related side effects from Opdivo were consistent with previously determined safety profiles.

Follow-up is ongoing and findings on progression-free survival (the time following treatment when a patient lives without the disease worsening) are not yet available, according to the release.

“We are encouraged by the promising clinical outcomes of an Adcetris plus (Opdivo) combination with reduced chemotherapy as we seek to maximize efficacy and improve tolerability in both early- and late-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma,” Roger Dansey, president of research and development and chief medical officer at Seagen, said in the news release.

Data on Patients With Advanced-Stage Disease

In addition, findings from part B of this study — focused on 57 patients with advanced-stage disease — were presented earlier this month at the 2023 European Hematology Association Congress. These results demonstrated a progression-free survival rate of 95% at 12 months and 93% at 18 months, according to the release.

The part B portion of the study also found that patients with advanced-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma treated with Advetris plus Opdivo and chemotherapy also had an overall response rate of 95% and a complete response in 89% of patients at the end of treatment.

The most common side effects related to treatment, which occurred in more than 30% of patients, included fatigue (49%), nausea (65%), hair loss (35%) and peripheral sensory neuropathy.

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Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown