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 brentuximab vedotin improves 5-year PFS versus best supportive care and reduces the need for subsequent therapy.


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 following autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (auto-HSCT). Results showed that BV significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) versus placebo plus best supportive care alone. At 5 years follow-up, BV continued to provide patients with sustained PFS benefit; 5-year PFS was 59% (95% CI 51-66) with BV versus 41% (95% CI 33-49) with placebo (HR 0.521, 95% CI, 0.379–0.717). Similarly, patients with ≥ 2 risk factors on 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, versus 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 patients’ HL risk factor profile when making treatment decisions. ( #NCT01100502).

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