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Expert Weighs Treatment Methods in Hodgkin Lymphoma

Caroline Seymour
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Nilanjan Ghosh, MD, PhD
Nilanjan Ghosh, MD, PhD
PET-adapted therapy has been incorporated for the last 5 to 7 years in Hodgkin lymphoma, says Nilanjan Ghosh, MD, PhD, a physician at Levine Cancer Institute.

on Hematologic Malignancies, Ghosh discussed the advances and ongoing research in frontline treatment of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.

OncLive: Please provide an overview of your presentation.

Ghosh: I spoke about the frontline treatment of early-stage and advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma. I presented some of the data about PET-adapted treatment in newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as the introduction of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) with adriamycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (AVD). Brentuximab vedotin with AVD is a non-PET–adapted treatment and has been recently FDA approved in the frontline treatment of patients with stage III and IV Hodgkin lymphoma.

I discussed ways and means by which many investigators have worked on, either reducing bleomycin exposure or trying to get rid of bleomycin from the frontline [setting] of Hodgkin lymphoma. I also explored the role of radiation in frontline treatment, especially for patients who get a negative PET scan at the end of treatment.

Can you speak to the efficacy of PET-adapted therapy?

There have been multiple clinical trials that have utilized PET-adapted therapy. A little more than a decade ago, a paper was published by Gallamini et al in JCO showing that patients who had a positive PET scan after 2 cycles of ABVD, known as the interim PET scan, had very poor outcomes compared with patients who had a negative PET. That almost trumped the standard prognostic factor, called the International Prognostic Score in Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Many clinical trials were designed to look at ways to improve the outcomes of PET-positive patients after the interim PET scan. In most studies, interim PET-positive patients were dose escalated up to BEACOPP. There was 1 trial where [investigators] dose-escalated patients to a regimen called ifosfamide, gemcitabine, and vinorelbine (IGEV) followed by autologous transplant to try to improve outcomes in this group. Those trials showed that the interim PET-positive patients achieved a PFS in the 60% to 75% range after dose escalation, whereas the PET-negative patients were in the 80% to 85% range. The results showed a significant improvement from not doing PET-adapted [therapy]. As a proportion, there are more patients who relapse in the PET-positive group, but there is still a significant number of patients who relapse after obtaining interim negative PET scan.

How has the approval of brentuximab vedotin impacted sequencing strategies?

We haven't seen sequencing strategies because there has not been long-term follow-up after brentuximab plus AVD.

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View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: 22nd Annual International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies®: Focus on Leukemias, Lymphomas and MyelomaMay 30, 20192.0
Medical Crossfire®: Personalizing Care for Multiple Myeloma Patients: Current and Future Sequencing StrategiesMay 31, 20191.5
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