Introduction: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against antigens expressed by tumor cells have become an effective therapeutic option in hematologic malignancies. Antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) utilize the targeting properties of mAbs to deliver cytotoxic agents inside the malignant cell. Brentuximab vedotin is a CD30-specific ADC with significant clinical activity in Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL).
Areas covered: CD30 is an ideal target for therapy due to its limited expression on normal tissues and the strong and uniform expression on malignant cells in classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL). Early studies using unconjugated CD30 mAbs have demonstrated lack of objective responses in patients with recurrent cHL. Brentuximab vedotin is an ADC with significant clinical activity in patients with HL. Here, the authors review the biology of brentuximab vedotin, summarize available clinical data and discuss future treatment strategies.
Expert opinion: Brentuximab vedotin is a well-tolerated and highly active drug in patients with relapsed cHL. This novel agent has the potential to be incorporated in the standard management of the disease with significant therapeutic impact.