What Is the Treatment Strategy for Relapsed/Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients? | Transcript | Hodgkin Lymphoma | Patient Power


What Is the Treatment Strategy for Relapsed/Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients?

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.

Andrew Schorr:           

So, you used this word “cure,” which is great for a lot of people, but what if the first time around, you haven’t cured it. Does that take away all hope for people? What can you do when they’ve relapsed, or what you call “refractory” to the earlier treatments?

Dr. Brody:       

So, we’re very lucky that we do still have a chance for curing those patients—a reasonable chance. I’ll just say historically over the past few decades, the standard approach has been those patients get more chemotherapy—a different type of chemotherapy, sometimes—called “salvage chemotherapy,” usually what we call “platinum-type chemotherapies,” and those are a bit tougher than the front-line chemotherapy, and even if that chemotherapy is somewhat successfully, then we push ahead, and that’s that role of autologous stem cell transplant.

All of those things together—we still think we can cure more than half of those people that relapse or don’t respond well to the first-line therapy. Those denominators are a little bit confusing because maybe not all patients get to all of those therapies. I will mention because we’re here at the ASH 2018 meeting—we’ve started to see more elegant ways of trying to take care of relapsed refractory disease.

One approach that’s been advanced over the last couple years is trying to get that targeted therapy into this second line of treatment, trying to use instead of the platinum chemotherapy, just that targeted antibody/drug conjugate, and there’s been some good results with that—a couple of groups at Sloan-Kettering, a couple of groups at City of Hope in California. And then, here at the ASH conference, we saw perhaps an even more elegant approach trying to combine that antibody/drug conjugate brentuximab vedotin (Adectris) with another great therapy we haven’t talked much about yet, another immunotherapy called an anti-PD1 antibody.

It really mobilizes the patient’s immune system to kill their own tumor cells, and a combination of those two has already been pretty effective for what we call third-line or fourth-line therapy, but a group has been trying to bring that into the second-line therapy to maybe be able to avoid some of that chemotherapy for the relapsed and refractory patients.

Esther Schorr: 

So, would that be a maintenance therapy at that point?

Dr. Brody:       

So, there are different approaches to it, but this group has mostly tried to use that at what we call “bridge to autologous stem cell transplant.” If the patients respond well and if they go into a partial or complete remission, they can go on to autologous stem cell transplant from there so that you’re able avoid some chemotherapy and get a very different way of killing those lymphomas.

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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Page last updated on April 24, 2019