Background: Brentuximab vedotin (BV) is a key therapeutic agent for patients with relapsed/refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). The outcomes of patients experiencing disease progression after BV are poorly described. Patients and methods: We reviewed our institutional database to identify patients with cHL treated with BV who were either refractory to treatment or experienced disease relapse. We collected clinicopathologic features, treatment details at progression and outcome. Results: One hundred patients met inclusion criteria, with a median age of 32 years (range 18-84) at progression after BV. The median number of treatments before BV was 3 (range 0-9); 71 had prior autologous stem cell transplant. The overall response rate (ORR) to BV was 57%, and the median duration of BV therapy was 3 months (range 1-25). After disease progression post-BV, the most common treatment strategies were investigational agents (n = 30), gemcitabine (n = 15) and bendamustine (n = 12). The cumulative ORR to therapy was 33% (complete response 15%). After a median follow-up of 25 months (range 1-74), the median progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 3.5 and 25.2 months, respectively. In multivariate analysis, no factors analyzed were predictive of PFS; age at progression >45 years and serum albumin <40 g/l at disease progression were associated with increased risk of death. Among patients who achieved response to therapy, allogeneic stem cell transplantation was associated with a non-significant trend toward superior OS (P=0.11). Conclusions: Patients with BV-resistant cHL have poor outcomes. These data serve as a reference for newer agents active in BV-resistant disease.
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