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Adcetris Plus Immunotherapy Shows Remarkable Results for Hodgkin Lymphoma


11 December 2023

Seagen announced remarkable results from a Phase 2 trial using Adcetris, nivolumab, and chemotherapy for the treatment of classical Hodgkin lymphoma, achieving 100% progression-free survival at 12 months in early-stage patients and 88% in advanced stages. This innovative approach significantly reduces toxicity, offering a major advancement in treatment, particularly for young adults, who are the most commonly affected group.

In a significant advancement for Hodgkin lymphoma treatment, a recent Phase 2 trial has shown promising results for a new combination therapy. This study, involving the antibody-drug conjugate Adcetris® (brentuximab vedotin), along with the immunotherapy drug nivolumab and standard chemotherapy agents doxorubicin and dacarbazine, has marked a milestone in the management of Hodgkin lymphoma. These impressive results come from the SGN35-027 study, presented at the 65th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Revolutionary Outcomes for Hodgkin Lymphoma

The trial's striking outcome reveals a 100% progression-free survival rate at 12 months for patients with early stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Dr. Jeremy Abramson, M.D., the principal investigator, emphasized the goal of maximizing cure rates while minimizing treatment-related toxicity. He stated, 

“Hodgkin lymphoma commonly strikes young adults, and our goal is to achieve the highest cure rate possible while reducing treatment and toxicity burden. These data show encouraging activity and safety for combining an ADC and immunotherapy, two medicines that have distinct and complementary mechanisms of action, allowing reduced reliance on traditional cytotoxic chemotherapies.”

Encouraging Results in Advanced Stage

The study also reported encouraging results for patients with advanced stage cHL. A notable 88% of these patients remained progression-free at 24 months, suggesting the therapy's effectiveness in more severe cases.

Dr. Roger Dansey, President of R&D at Seagen, highlighted the favorable outcomes and stated,  “These data continue to demonstrate favorable clinical outcomes of an Adcetris plus nivolumab immunotherapy combination that reduces chemotherapy treatment burden and warrant further study.”

Detailed Analysis of the Trial

The SGN35-027 trial evaluated the ADCETRIS combination in two parts:

  • Part C focused on 154 patients with non-bulky Stage I or II cHL. Among the 150 efficacy-evaluable patients, 98% showed an overall response, with 93% achieving a complete response. At 12 months, the progression-free survival rate was an unprecedented 100%.
  • Part B targeted 57 patients with advanced-stage cHL. Here, 95% of the 56 efficacy-evaluable patients had an overall response, and 89% had a complete response. The estimated progression-free survival rate at 24 months was a remarkable 88%.

Safety Profile

The treatment was generally well-tolerated, with most adverse events being low-grade. Notably, there were no cases of febrile neutropenia or deaths attributed to the treatment, marking a significant improvement in the safety profile compared to traditional chemotherapy regimens.

This groundbreaking trial, SGN35-027, marks a significant leap forward in treating Hodgkin lymphoma, offering hope for higher cure rates and reduced treatment burdens for patients. 

More about Adcetris

ADCETRIS is an antibody-drug conjugate using Seagen's proprietary technology, targeting CD30-positive tumor cells with a protease-cleavable linker and the agent monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE). It's approved in the U.S. for seven indications, including various forms of lymphoma and post-transplant consolidation in Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). With marketing authorization in over 70 countries, ADCETRIS is jointly developed by Seagen and Takeda.


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