FDA Expands Treatment Approval for Certain Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Patients

New FDA Approved Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatment
This page was originally published March 20, 2018 and updated May 26, 2024.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 8500 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2022 and approximately 1,050 patients will die from the disease. New and better treatments are needed to combat this disease.

The FDA has just approved brentuximab vedotin to treat adult patients with previously untreated stage III or IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma in combination with chemotherapy, an approval that “represents an improvement in the initial treatment regimens of advanced Hodgkin lymphoma that were introduced into clinical practice more than 40 years ago,” said Richard Pazdur, MD, Director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and Acting Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Hematology and Oncology Products.

Brentuximab vedotin works to target lymphoma cells known as CD30. It was previously approved by the FDA to treat classical Hodgkin lymphoma after relapse and classical Hodgkin lymphoma after stem cell transplant (for patients at high risk of relapse or progression), as well as other lymphomas after first-line therapy treatment failure.

This approval for adult patients with previously untreated stage III or IV cHL was based on a clinical trial comparing brentuximab vedotin plus chemotherapy to a chemotherapy-only regimen common for classical Hodgkin lymphoma. The trial measured the length of time it took for the disease to progress, death to occur, or new therapy to be initiated in patients who did not achieve a complete response.

In the trial of 1,334 patients, those treated with brentuximab vedotin plus chemotherapy were 23 percent less likely to experience progression, death, or treatment failure compared with those receiving chemotherapy alone. In the study, 18% of patients on the brentuximab vedotin plus chemotherapy did experience disease progression, death, or second line treatment compared to 22% of patients on chemotherapy. 67 percent of patients in this trial treated with brentuximab vedotin plus chemotherapy experienced peripheral neuropathy.

Common side effects of brentuximab vedotin include low white blood cell count, anemia, nerve pain, nausea, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.

Despite the side effects, however, Dr. Pazdur said this new treatment represents a new treatment  choice for certain patients with the disease. “This approval demonstrates our commitment to approving advancements in treatment that give prescribers and patients different options for care.” For more on this recent FDA approval visit https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm601935.htm.

Free Financial Help for Lymphoma Patients

If you’ve been diagnosed with lymphoma, leukemia, or other blood cancer and need help meeting expenses, please visit the Cancer Care News resource links to free cancer-specific financial support programs. We can help you locate no-cost programs to help with household expenses, out-of-pocket costs, prescriptions, and more.

Free Financial Help for Leukemia and Lymphoma Patients and Families

Get the Latest Updates

This post may contain affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you nothing but help support Cancer Care News and the free content we share. You can learn more about our terms here.

About Staff, Cancer Care News 294 Articles
Cancer Care News is a non-profit 501(c)(3) sharing evidence-based cancer updates & financial resources for patients & families in the USA. Please share the information you find helpful with others in need.


  1. I am very happy I found this site because this is very good news for me. Also, thank you for the information on financial support options as well! God bless!

    • We hope the resources help you, Jack! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help locating a particular program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.