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New Drug Shows Promise In Refractory Hodgkin’s Lymphomas

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New Drug Shows Promise In Refractory Hodgkin’s Lymphomas

A new drug, called brentuximab vedotin, used in infusion, was released for the treatment of relapsed or refractory Hodgkin’s lymphoma and for systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma. This new drug is a product that combines a monoclonal antibody, called brentuximab and a antimitotic agent, called monomethyl auristatin (vedotin). The mechanism of action of this new drug consist in fact that this medication is targeting CD30 receptors, which are foundon  the tumor cells and then will release the toxic chemotherapeutic agent.

Brentuximab vedotin is indicated in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has not progressed after they received an autologous stem cell transplant, and in patients who were ineligible for stem cell transplant, but who have failed at least 2 multiagent chemotherapy regimens. This new drug also may be used in patients with anaplastic large cell lymphoma who have failed at least 1 chemotherapy treatment.

The drug was study in clinical trials in which, brentuximab vedotin was administered intravenously at a dose of 1.8 mg/kg over the course of 30 minutes once every 3 weeks, in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and anaplastic large cell.

Results from the first clinical trial showed that from a total number of 102 patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, 73% of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma achieved an objective response to brentuximab vedotin therapy, including 32% with complete remission and 40% of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma achieved partial remission. Average response duration was 6.7 months.

Hodgkin's lymphoma

Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Results from the second clinical trial showed that from a total number of 58 patients with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, 57% achieving complete remission and 29% a partial remission. Average response duration was 12.6 months.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a highly curable disease, but about 20% of patients become refractory or resistant to treatment and for this reason, the responses seen in refractory patients with Hodgkin lymphoma have been very impressive and the researchers predicted that will be seen better results if this drug will be used in patients with less advanced Hodgkin lymphoma, or if it be used in combination with others chemotherapy agents.

Most commonly side effects, that were reported about brentuximab vedotin therapy, with a incidence about 20%, included: neutropenia, peripheral sensory neuropathy, fatigue, nausea, anemia, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, fever, rash, thrombocytopenia, cough and vomiting. In pregnant women, this drug may have teratogenic effect and can cause fetal harm. Also, caution is advised in patients who are receiving concomitant treatment with strong cytochrome P 450 isoenzyme 3A4 inhibitors.

However, the use of this new drug in patients with refractory Hodgkin lymphoma and in patients with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, might be just the beginning of a new treatment scheme and in the future it should be possible that the standard treatment for lymphomas should include brentuximab.