Adcetris could shake up standard ABVD regimen in Hodgkin's


In an earnings call with investors and media, Seattle Genetics management discussed the firm's exploration of Adcetris, their new Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment, in other CD30 positive cancers, as well as its potential inclusion in various combination chemotherapy regimens.

One of those regimens is the current first-line standard of care, the ABVD combination chemotherapy regimen. However, the company determined that Adcetris appears to carry too much risk of pulmonary toxicity, and that a potential ABVD + Adcetris combination presents an unacceptably high pulmonary toxicity profile (i.e. Adcetris and bleomycin should not be administered in combination).

That said, in a front-line safety trial Seattle Genetics is exploring a possible tweak to ABVD by replacing bleomycin with Adcetris, e.g. AVD+Adcetris, and thus far there have been no pulmonary toxicity issues in that particular trial arm (although no word on efficacy).

Until larger-scale trials can determine whether AVD+Adcetris is as good or better than ABVD, the latter will remain the gold standard, but considering bleomycin's well-known and broadly damaging lung toxicity, its replacement in the regimen with something equally effective but less toxic would be a welcome one indeed.

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