About 10 to 15 percent of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma are over age 60. However, due to more aggressive disease and less tolerance of standard chemotherapy, patients with Hodgkin lymphoma do not fare as well as younger patients with standard chemotherapy. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of giving the drug brentuximab (also called SGN-35) before and after therapy with standard chemotherapy that includes doxorubicin (Adriamycin), vinblastine, and dacarbazine in older patients with previously untreated Hodgkin lymphoma.
Brentuximab has two parts: one (an antibody) that attaches to a protein on the surface of cancer cells (including Hodgkin lymphoma) called CD30, and another (an anticancer drug called monomethyl auristatin E) that kills the cancer. Brentuximab is already approved for the treatment of certain patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.