Phase 2 study of rituximab-ABVD in classical Hodgkin lymphoma

Yvette L. Kasamon, Heather A. Jacene, Christopher D. Gocke, Lode J. Swinnen, Douglas E. Gladstone, Brandy Perkins, Brian K. Link, Leslie L. Popplewell, Thomas M. Habermann, Joseph M. Herman, William H. Matsui, Richard J. Jones, Richard F. Ambinder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


In classical Hodgkin lymphoma, circulating clonotypic malignant cells express CD20, which potentially explains the observed activity of rituximab. This multicenter phase 2 study investigated the combination of rituximab- ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) for stage II-IV untreated classical Hodgkin lymphoma. A goal was to assess the behavior of circulating clonotypic B cells clinically. Of 49 evaluable patients, 69% had stage IIB-IV disease; 8% had CD20- Hodgkin and Reed- Sternberg cells. Rituximab-ABVD was generally well tolerated. Delivered relative dose intensity was 94% forAVD and 79% for bleomycin. After 6 cycles, 81% of patients were in complete remission. Only 8% received radiation therapy. The actuarial 3-year event-free and overall survival rates were 83% and 98%, respectively. EBV copy number in plasma fell dramatically during cycle 1 in patients with EBV- tumors. Persistence of detectable circulating clonotypic B cells was associated with a greater relapse frequency (P < .05). Rituximab-ABVD and clonotypic B cells warrant additional study in classical Hodgkin lymphoma. This trial was registered at as NCT00369681.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4129-4132
Number of pages4
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 3 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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