Study Shows Brentuximab Vedotin Beneficial for ALCL

One key facet of the healthcare system is working to improve patient outcomes and finding new, effective, and innovative lines of treatment. According to Hematology Advisor, a study showed that brentuximab vedotin, in conjunction with chemotherapy, could help improve patient outcomes in pediatric patients with ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). Altogether, the research highlighted how adding this therapy reduced relapses during treatment. Interested in learning more? Take a look at the full published research in Blood.

Brentuximab Vedotin

Also known by its brand name Adcetris, brentuximab vedotin is described by Chemocare as:

a CD30-directed Antibody Drug conjugate (ADC); meaning that it consists of a targeted therapy monoclonal antibody and an antineoplastic (chemotherapy) agent [which] work together to destroy cancer cells.

The brentuximab portion of the drug is a monoclonal antibody which targets the CD30 antigen on the surface of the cancer cells [and] allows the ADC to enter the cell and disrupt the microtubule network which…ultimately leads to cell death.

Now, researchers are exploring brentuximab vedotin, in conjunction with chemotherapy, for pediatric patients with ALCL. After all, an estimated 15% of pediatric lymphoma cases are ALCL and up to 30% of patients relapse. In previous studies, brentuximab vedotin showed promise for treating patients with ALCL.

For this particular trial, researchers centered around the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of the treatment for those with newly diagnosed stage II-IV ALK-positive ALCL. Additionally, researchers sought to understand how the treatment improved event-free survival and overall survival. Altogether, 68 patients enrolled over a 4-year period. While ages ranged from 2 to 21, the median age was 12. A majority of patients were male and white, and a majority had stage 3 ALCL. Findings included:

  • Although 14 patients relapsed over the course of the entire trial, only 1 relapse occurred while patients were being treated.
  • Altogether, the therapy was relatively safe and well-tolerated. Some high-grade adverse reactions did occur, which included anemia (low red blood cell count), neutropenia (low white blood cell count), and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count).
  • During the trial, there were no toxicity-related deaths.
  • Event-free survival, over a 2-year period, was 79.1%. In this same period, overall survival was 93%.

Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a cancer of the lymphatic system, accounting for around 1% of all NHL diagnoses. This aggressive cancer most often affects the skin (cutaneous ALCL) or lymph nodes (systemic ALCL). The systemic form is typically faster-growing. However, ALCL may also affect other organs throughout the body. While ALK-positive ALCL often affects children and young adults, ALK-negative ALCL more often affects older adults. In both forms, males are slightly more affected than females.

Symptoms of the cutaneous form include:

  • Red skin lesions
  • Lesions that break open and do not heal
  • Itching

Alternately, symptoms associated with systemic ALCL include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever and night sweats
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • Appetite loss
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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