Although frontline treatment of advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) produces high cure rates, disease either will not respond to or will relapse after initial therapy in approximately a quarter of patients. Many patients with disease relapse can be successfully salvaged with second-line chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Patients whose disease relapses after ASCT are rarely cured. A unique pathophysiologic feature of HL is that the malignant Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cell is rare and resides within a microenvironment of inflammatory and immune-related cells. The recent FDA approval of the anti-CD30 antibody-drug conjugate brentuximab vedotin (BV) for patients with either primary refractory HL or those whose disease relapses after ASCT represents a major advance in therapy. This article focuses on BV and other novel agents that target the HRS cell surface, intracellular signaling pathways, and tumor microenvironment.
View details for PubMedID 23946175