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What New Treatments Are Available?

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Published on January 17, 2020

Key Takeaways

  • After primary treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma, the standard of care is salvage treatment and autologous stem cell transplant to regenerate your bone marrow.
  • New drugs are now available that are providing better response rates in patients including a bi-specific drug that uses the body's own immune system to help fight lymphoma.

Hodgkin lymphoma expert Dr. Sairah Ahmed, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, talks to Patient Power Co-Founder Esther Schorr about what new treatments are available for patients in the relapsed and refractory setting. Dr. Ahmed also explains when a stem cell transplant is appropriate for a patient who has already undergone treatment, and gives updates on therapies that harness the body's own immune system to fight cancer. 

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Transcript | What New Treatments Are Available?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Esther Schorr:

Hi there.  This is Esther Schorr with the Patient Power.  I'm at ASH 2019 in Orlando, Florida, with, I don't know, 25‑ or 30,000 oncologists, hematologists and researchers, and I'm here now with Dr. Sairah Ahmed, and I'm going to let her tell you what she does at MD Anderson in Texas. 

Dr. Ahmed:

My name is Dr. Sairah Ahmed.  I am in the department of lymphoma and stem cell transplant and cellular therapy, and I'm an associate professor there. 

Esther Schorr:

So I think what we wanted to talk about today is Hodgkin lymphoma, the Hodgkin lymphoma and what is happening here at ASH as far as especially relapsed and refractory patients and new treatment modalities. 

Dr. Ahmed:

So once Hodgkin lymphoma comes back after primary treatment, the standard of care is to get some kind of salvage treatment and then get an autologous stem cell transplant, which is basically high‑dose chemotherapy followed by getting your stem cells back to regenerate your bone marrow. 

There are a number of new drugs that have come up in the last year to be used in the relapsed setting.  So there are antibody‑drug conjugates.  There is a C25 antibody‑drug conjugate that actually has great overall response rates.  There are also new bispecifics that are both targeting CD30 and are looking at targeting NK cells, natural killer cells.  

So there are bispecifics in other parts of lymphoma that are using T cells, but this drive, which is called AFM13 is actually using the body's immune system with natural killer cells to help fight lymphoma.  And there have been trials using it both as a single agent as well as using it with PD‑1 inhibitors with really great responses in Hodgkin lymphoma that has returned after being treated in the frontline as well as returned after autologous stem cell transplant. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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