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Concept: Hodgkin's lymphoma


To the Editor: Ibrutinib is an oral, small-molecule Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor that has activity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle-cell lymphoma, and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia.(1)-(3) We administered single-agent ibrutinib at a dose of 560 mg daily to two heavily pretreated patients who had primary refractory classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Patient 1 was a 28-year-old woman who underwent haploidentical allogeneic hematopoietic-cell transplantation after receiving eight prior therapeutic regimens, including autologous hematopoietic-cell transplantation and brentuximab vedotin. Two months after the hematopoietic-cell transplantation, fevers, night sweats, and weight loss developed. Combined positron-emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) showed relapsed disease above and . . .

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Positron emission tomography, Protein kinase, Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Blood disorders


Background Brentuximab vedotin is an anti-CD30 antibody-drug conjugate that has been approved for relapsed and refractory Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Methods We conducted an open-label, multicenter, randomized phase 3 trial involving patients with previously untreated stage III or IV classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma, in which 664 were assigned to receive brentuximab vedotin, doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (A+AVD) and 670 were assigned to receive doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD). The primary end point was modified progression-free survival (the time to progression, death, or noncomplete response and use of subsequent anticancer therapy) as adjudicated by an independent review committee. The key secondary end point was overall survival. Results At a median follow-up of 24.9 months, 2-year modified progression-free survival rates in the A+AVD and ABVD groups were 82.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 78.7 to 85.0) and 77.2% (95% CI, 73.7 to 80.4), respectively, a difference of 4.9 percentage points (hazard ratio for an event of progression, death, or modified progression, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.98; P=0.03). There were 28 deaths with A+AVD and 39 with ABVD (hazard ratio for interim overall survival, 0.72 [95% CI, 0.44 to 1.17]; P=0.19). All secondary efficacy end points trended in favor of A+AVD. Neutropenia occurred in 58% of the patients receiving A+AVD and in 45% of those receiving ABVD; in the A+AVD group, the rate of febrile neutropenia was lower among the 83 patients who received primary prophylaxis with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor than among those who did not (11% vs. 21%). Peripheral neuropathy occurred in 67% of patients in the A+AVD group and in 43% of patients in the ABVD group; 67% of patients in the A+AVD group who had peripheral neuropathy had resolution or improvement at the last follow-up visit. Pulmonary toxicity of grade 3 or higher was reported in less than 1% of patients receiving A+AVD and in 3% of those receiving ABVD. Among the deaths that occurred during treatment, 7 of 9 in the A+AVD group were associated with neutropenia and 11 of 13 in the ABVD group were associated with pulmonary-related toxicity. Conclusions A+AVD had superior efficacy to ABVD in the treatment of patients with advanced-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with a 4.9 percentage-point lower combined risk of progression, death, or noncomplete response and of subsequent anticancer therapy at 2 years. (Funded by Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Seattle Genetics; ECHELON-1 number, NCT01712490 ; EudraCT number, 2011-005450-60 .).

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Vincristine, Fever, Doxorubicin, ABVD, Vinblastine


Survivors of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are at increased risk for treatment-related subsequent malignant neoplasms. The effect of less toxic treatments, introduced in the late 1980s, on the long-term risk of a second cancer remains unknown.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Neoplasm, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma


This systematic review and meta-analysis rigorously examines the relationship between glyphosate exposure and risk of lymphohematopoietic cancer (LHC) including NHL, Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), multiple myeloma (MM), and leukemia. Meta-relative risks (meta-RRs) were positive and marginally statistically significant for the association between any versus no use of glyphosate and risk of NHL (meta-RR = 1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.0-1.6, based on six studies) and MM (meta-RR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.0-1.9; four studies). Associations were statistically null for HL (meta-RR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.7-1.6; two studies), leukemia (meta-RR = 1.0, 95% CI = 0.6-1.5; three studies), and NHL subtypes except B-cell lymphoma (two studies each). Bias and confounding may account for observed associations. Meta-analysis is constrained by few studies and a crude exposure metric, while the overall body of literature is methodologically limited and findings are not strong or consistent. Thus, a causal relationship has not been established between glyphosate exposure and risk of any type of LHC.

Concepts: Cancer, Statistics, Bone marrow, Types of cancer, Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Statistical hypothesis testing


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Standard first-line treatment for this aggressive subtype comprises the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab combined with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone. If patients receiving such treatment have an early relapse, or their disease is initially refractory to such treatment, standard salvage regimens may not be effective. There is therefore a high unmet clinical need for new targeted agents that might improve the outcome for such patients. CD19 is a B-lymphocyte lineage-specific cell surface antigen that is expressed by most B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. MOR208 is an fragment-crystallizable engineered humanized monoclonal antibody with enhanced antitumor activity that targets CD19 and that may consequently have clinical utility in this setting.

Concepts: Monoclonal antibodies, Chemotherapy, B cell, Types of cancer, Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma


Several susceptibility loci for classical Hodgkin lymphoma have been reported. However, much of the heritable risk is unknown. Here, we perform a meta-analysis of two existing genome-wide association studies, a new genome-wide association study, and replication totalling 5,314 cases and 16,749 controls. We identify risk loci for all classical Hodgkin lymphoma at 6q22.33 (rs9482849, P = 1.52 × 10-8) and for nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma at 3q28 (rs4459895, P = 9.43 × 10-17), 6q23.3 (rs6928977, P = 4.62 × 10-11), 10p14 (rs3781093, P = 9.49 × 10-13), 13q34 (rs112998813, P = 4.58 × 10-8) and 16p13.13 (rs34972832, P = 2.12 × 10-8). Additionally, independent loci within the HLA region are observed for nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma (rs9269081, HLA-DPB1*03:01, Val86 in HLA-DRB1) and mixed cellularity Hodgkin lymphoma (rs1633096, rs13196329, Val86 in HLA-DRB1). The new and established risk loci localise to areas of active chromatin and show an over-representation of transcription factor binding for determinants of B-cell development and immune response.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Gene expression, Transcription factor, Lymphoma, Genome-wide association study, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Nodular sclerosis


Lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin disease is a rare form of Hodgkin lymphoma that is recognized as a separate histopathological entity. This disease tends to have multiple relapses, but has an overall good prognosis. Owing to its rarity, and the prolonged time period between recurrence and transformation events, there is no consensus regarding optimal management. However, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines indicate that for early stages, appropriate treatment is radiotherapy. Several management options have been reported including observation, radiation, chemotherapy, combined chemoradiotherapy, and anti-CD20 antibody therapy. Salvage therapy remains effective in inducing prolonged remission in patients with relapsed/refractory disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Doxorubicin, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma


In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of rituximab in combination with standard doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (RABVD) in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). In this phase 2 study, patients with chemotherapy-naive, advanced-stage cHL were treated with rituximab 375 mg/m(2) weekly for 6 weeks and standard ABVD for 6 cycles. The primary outcome was event-free survival (EFS) at 5 years. Eighty-five patients were enrolled, of whom 78 were eligible. With a median follow-up duration of 68 months (range, 26-110), and based on an intent-to-treat analysis, the 5-year EFS and overall survival rates were 83% and 96%, respectively. The 5-year EFS for patients with stage III/IV cHL was 82%. Furthermore, the 5-year EFS for patients with an International Prognostic Score of 0-2 was 88% and for those with a score of > 2, it was 73%. The most frequent treatment-related grade 3 or 4 adverse events were neutropenia (23%), fatigue (9%), and nausea (8%). Our results demonstrate that the addition of rituximab to ABVD is safe and has a promising clinical activity in patients with advanced-stage cHL. These data are currently being confirmed in a multicenter randomized trial.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Chemotherapy, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Doxorubicin, ABVD, Antineoplastic drugs, Vinblastine


There is a lack of contemporary prospective data examining the adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine (ABVD) and Stanford V (SV; doxorubicin, vinblastine, mechlorethamine, vincristine, bleomycin, etoposide, prednisone) regimens in older Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients. Forty-four advanced-stage, older HL patients (aged ≥60 years) were treated on the randomized study, E2496. Toxicities were mostly similar between chemotherapy regimens, although 24% of older patients developed bleomycin lung toxicity (BLT), which occurred mainly with ABVD (91%). Further, the BLT-related mortality rate was 18%. The overall treatment-related mortality for older HL patients was 9% vs. 0·3% for patients aged <60 years (P < 0·001). Among older patients, there were no survival differences between ABVD and SV. According to age, outcomes were significantly inferior for older versus younger patients (5-year failure-free survival: 48% vs. 74%, respectively, P = 0·002; 5-year overall survival: 58% and 90%, respectively, P < 0·0001), although time-to-progression (TTP) was not significantly different (5-year TTP: 68% vs. 78%, respectively, P = 0·37). Furthermore, considering progression and death without progression as competing risks, the risk of progression was not different between older and younger HL patients (5 years: 30% and 23%, respectively, P = 0·30); however, the incidence of death without progression was significantly increased for older HL patients (22% vs. 9%, respectively, P < 0·0001). Altogether, the marked HL age-dependent survival differences appeared attributable primarily to non-HL events.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Chemotherapy regimens, Vincristine, Doxorubicin, ABVD, Antineoplastic drugs, Stanford V


PURPOSENodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) is one of the two established Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) subtypes. The risk factors of NLPHL are largely unknown. In general, genetic factors are known to have a modest effect on the risk of HL; however, familial risk in NLPHL has not been previously examined. We conducted a population-based study by using the Finnish registries and evaluated the familial risk in NLPHL. PATIENTS AND METHODSWe launched a population-based search to identify patients with NLPHL and their relatives by examining the records of the Finnish Cancer Registry, established in 1953, and the official Finnish population registries. We collected a data set of 692 patients with NLPHL, identified their 4,280 first-degree relatives, and calculated the registry-based standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for different cancers in the first-degree relatives. In addition, the primary tumor biopsies of HL-affected relatives were collected when possible, the HL diagnoses were re-reviewed by a hematopathologist, and the SIR for NLPHL was calculated on the basis of confirmed NLPHL diagnoses.ResultsOn the basis of confirmed NLPHL diagnoses, the SIR for NLPHL was 19 (95% CI, 8.8 to 36) in the first-degree relatives. The risk was most prominent in female relatives of young patients. The registry-based SIR for classical HL was 5.3 (95% CI, 3.0 to 8.8), and for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, it was 1.9 (95% CI, 1.3 to 2.6). CONCLUSIONOur results implicate an unexpectedly high familial component in the development of NLPHL. Research is warranted to identify the putative genetic and environmental factors underlying this finding and to develop strategies for better management of patients with NLPHL and their relatives.

Concepts: Family, Genetics, Cancer, Pathology, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Kinship terminology, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma