The standard treatment for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma that has returned or stopped responding to therapy is chemotherapy with ICE (the drugs ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide), followed by high-dose chemotherapy and radiation therapy and then an infusion of a patient’s own stem cells (autologous stem cell transplant, or ASCT). However, ICE can cause many side effects.
In this study, researchers are evaluating the use of the investigational drug brentuximab vedotin (also called SGN-35) instead of ICE before ASCT in patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma. 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. Brentuximab has fewer side effects than ICE and can be given on an outpatient basis.
Each patient’s response to treatment will be monitored using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.