The standard therapy for early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma that has a high risk of returning after treatment is chemotherapy with four drugs (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) followed by radiation therapy. However, despite this approach, the cancer still returns in about 20 percent of patients.
In this study, researchers are assessing a different approach: the drugs doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine plus another drug called brentuximab vedotin (which is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating Hodgkin lymphoma which persists despite other treatments), followed by radiation therapy. It is hoped that this regimen will be more effective than the standard treatment for reducing the risk of cancer recurrence in patients with early-stage poor-risk Hodgkin lymphoma that has not yet been treated.
Brentuximab has two parts: one (an antibody) that attaches to a protein on the surface of cancer cells called CD30, and another (an anticancer drug called monomethyl auristatin E) that kills the cancer.