With a median follow-up of 63.6 months, mPFS of patients ≥60 years with cHL treated with upfront BV-DTIC was 47.2 months.
Noncomparatively, mPFS of patients ≥60 years with cHL treated with BV‑nivolumab was not reached with median follow-up of 51.6 months.
Older patients with advanced-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) have inferior outcomes compared with younger patients, potentially due to comorbidities and frailty. This noncomparative phase 2 study enrolled patients ≥60 years with cHL unfit for conventional chemotherapy to receive frontline brentuximab vedotin (BV; 1.8 mg/kg) with dacarbazine (DTIC; 375 mg/m2) (Part B) or nivolumab (Part D; 3 mg/kg). In Parts B and D, 50% and 38% of patients, respectively, had ≥3 general comorbidities or ≥1 significant comorbidity. Of the 22 patients treated with BV-DTIC, 95% achieved objective response and 64% achieved complete response (CR). With median follow-up of 63.6 months, median duration of response (mDOR) was 46.0 months. Median progression-free survival (mPFS) was 47.2 months; median overall survival (mOS) was not reached. Of 21 patients treated with BV-nivolumab, 86% achieved objective response and 67% achieved CR. With 51.6 months of median follow-up, mDOR, mPFS, and mOS were not reached. Ten patients (45%) with BV-DTIC and 16 patients (76%) with BV‑nivolumab experienced grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events; sensory peripheral neuropathy (PN) (27%) and neutropenia (9%) were most common with BV-DTIC and lipase increased (24%), motor PN (19%), and sensory PN (19%) were most common with BV‑nivolumab. Despite high median age, inclusion of patients up to 88 years, and frailty, these results demonstrate safety and promising durable efficacy of BV-DTIC and BV-nivolumab combinations as frontline treatment, suggesting potential alternatives for older patients with cHL unfit for initial conventional chemotherapy. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01716806.