Five-year PFS from the AETHERA trial of brentuximab vedotin for Hodgkin lymphoma at high risk of progression or relapse

Craig H. Moskowitz, Jan Walewski, Auayporn Nademanee, Tamas Masszi, Edward Agura, Jerzy Holowiecki, Muneer H. Abidi, Andy I. Chen, Patrick Stiff, Simonetta Viviani, Veronika Bachanova, Anna Sureda, Teresa McClendon, Connie Lee, Julie Lisano and John Sweetenham

Key Points

  • Early consolidation with BV improves 5-year PFS vs best supportive care and reduces the need for subsequent therapy.

  • At 5-year follow-up, BV shows long-term tolerability, with peripheral neuropathy continuing to improve and/or resolve.


The phase 3 AETHERA trial established brentuximab vedotin (BV) as a consolidative treatment option for adult patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) at high risk of relapse or progression after autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (auto-HSCT). Results showed that BV significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) vs placebo plus best supportive care alone. At 5-year follow-up, BV continued to provide patients with sustained PFS benefit; 5-year PFS was 59% (95% confidence interval [CI], 51-66) with BV vs 41% (95% CI, 33-49) with placebo (hazard ratio [HR], 0.521; 95% CI, 0.379-0.717). Similarly, patients with ≥2 risk factors in the BV arm experienced significantly higher PFS at 5 years than patients in the placebo arm (HR, 0.424; 95% CI, 0.302-0.596). Upfront consolidation with BV significantly delayed time to second subsequent therapy, an indicator of ongoing disease control, vs placebo. Peripheral neuropathy, the most common adverse event in patients receiving BV, continued to improve and/or resolve in 90% of patients. In summary, consolidation with BV in adult patients with cHL at high risk of relapse or progression after auto-HSCT confers a sustained PFS benefit and is safe and well tolerated. Physicians should consider each patient’s HL risk factor profile when making treatment decisions. This trial was registered at as #NCT01100502.

  • Submitted July 6, 2018.
  • Accepted September 19, 2018.
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