Novel Therapies in the Treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma

Xavier Andrade-Gonzalez, Stephen M. Ansell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) can achieve excellent response and survival rates following frontline combination chemo- and radiation therapy. However, about 10–15% of patients will experience disease relapse which is associated with poor outcomes. Recent breakthroughs in understanding the mechanisms of oncogenicity and interactions within the tumor microenvironment have resulted in development of novel drugs for treatment of patients with HL. Utilizing this information, treatment of newly diagnosed and relapsed HL has become a rapidly evolving field with multiple clinical trials evaluating novel treatment approaches incorporating targeted immunotherapy. In the frontline setting, the use of novel drugs may allow for de-escalation of therapy to avoid long-term complications associated with bleomycin and consolidation radiation therapy. Patients with early-stage, non-bulky disease are candidates for omitting radiation therapy using treatment combinations that include upfront use of brentuximab vedotin or nivolumab. In patients with advanced disease, the addition of brentuximab vedotin to a chemotherapy backbone is currently the standard of care in our practice, particularly in patients with a contraindication for receiving bleomycin. Future investigations in patients with advanced-stage HL will focus on establishing a new standard of care by comparing brentuximab vedotin and nivolumab in combination with chemotherapy (BV-AVD vs. N-AVD) and decreasing the risk of relapse by exploring consolidation therapy in patients with high-risk disease. In patients who have relapsed or are refractory to first-line therapy, salvage treatment has incorporated brentuximab vedotin or PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors to improve response rates of cytotoxic chemotherapy thereby improving the probability of a successful stem cell transplant. Post-transplant consolidation with brentuximab is currently standard of care in patients with high-risk disease. Patients who relapse following autologous stem cell transplant now have an expanded armamentarium of chemo- and immunotherapy options. However, the challenge is to determine the sequence of therapy after prior brentuximab or checkpoint inhibitor exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Brentuximab vedotin
  • CAR-T cell
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Nivolumab
  • Novel therapies
  • Pembrolizumab
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Novel Therapies in the Treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this