Combining brentuximab vedotin with dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine and cisplatin as salvage treatment in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma: the phase II HOVON/LLPC Transplant BRaVE study

Marie José Kersten, Julia Driessen, Josée M. Zijlstra, Wouter J. Plattel, Franck Morschhauser, Pieternella J. Lugtenburg, Pauline Brice, Martin Hutchings, Thomas Gastinne, Roberto Liu, Coreline N. Burggraaff, Marcel Nijland, Sanne H. Tonino, Anne I.J. Arens, Roelf Valkema, Harm van Tinteren, Marta Lopez-Yurda, Arjan Diepstra, Daphne De Jong, Anton Hagenbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Achieving a metabolic complete response (mCR) before high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and autologous peripheral blood stemcell transplant (auto-PBSCT) predicts progression free survival (PFS) in relapsed/refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (R/R cHL). We added brentuximab vedotin (BV) to DHAP to improve the mCR rate. In a Phase I dose-escalation part in 12 patients, we showed that BV-DHAP is feasible. This Phase II study included 55 R/R cHL patients (23 primary refractory). Treatment consisted of three 21-day cycles of BV 1.8 mg/kg on day 1, and DHAP (dexamethasone 40mg days 1-4, cisplatin 100mg/m2; day 1 and cytarabine 2x2g/m2; day 2). Patients with a metabolic partial response (mPR) or mCR proceeded to HDC/auto-PBSCT. Based on independent central FDG-PET-CT review, 42 of 52 evaluable patients (81% [95% CI: 67-90]) achieved an mCR before HDC/auto- PBSCT, five had an mPR and five had progressive disease (three were not evaluable). After HDC/auto-PBSCT, four patients with an mPR converted to an mCR. The 2-year PFS was 74% [95% CI: 63-86], and the overall survival 95% [95% CI: 90-100]. Toxicity was manageable and mainly consisted of grade 3/4 hematological toxicity, fever, nephrotoxicity, ototoxicity (grade 1/2) and transiently elevated liver enzymes during BV-DHAP. Eighteen patients developed new onset peripheral neuropathy (maximum grade 1/2) and all recovered. In conclusion, BV-DHAP is a very effective salvage regimen in R/R cHL patients, but patients should be monitored closely for toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1137
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Cite this