Key Points

  • BV and Nivo, with staggered or concurrent dosing, was active and well-tolerated when used as first salvage therapy in patients with r/r cHL

  • The objective and complete response rates were 85% and 67%, with a 3-year PFS rate of 91% in patients who proceeded directly to transplant

This phase 1-2 study evaluated brentuximab vedotin (BV) combined with nivolumab (Nivo) as first salvage therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma. In parts 1 and 2, patients received staggered dosing of BV and Nivo in cycle 1, followed by same-day dosing in cycles 2-4. In part 3, both study drugs were dosed same day for all 4 cycles. At end of study treatment, patients could undergo autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) per investigator discretion. The objective response rate (N=91) was 85%, with 67% achieving a complete response. At a median follow-up of 34.3 months, the estimated progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 3 years was 77% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 65% to 86%) and 91% (95% CI, 79% to 96%) for patients undergoing ASCT directly after study treatment. Overall survival at 3 years was 93% (95% CI, 85% to 97%). The most common adverse events (AEs) prior to ASCT were nausea (52%) and infusion-related reactions (43%), all grade 1 or 2. A total of 16 patients (18%) had immune-related AEs that required systemic corticosteroid treatment. Peripheral blood immune signatures were consistent with an activated T-cell response. Median gene expression of CD30 in tumors was higher in patients who responded compared with those who did not. Longer-term follow up of BV and Nivo as a first salvage regimen shows durable efficacy and impressive PFS, especially in patients who proceeded directly to transplant, without additional toxicity concerns.

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