Risk-stratified treatment strategies have the potential to increase survival and lower toxicity in relapsed/refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (R/R cHL) patients. This study investigated the prognostic value of serum (s)TARC, vitamin D and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), TARC immunohistochemistry and quantitative PET parameters in 65 R/R cHL patients who were treated with brentuximab vedotin (BV) and DHAP followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) within the Transplant BRaVE study (NCT02280993). At a median follow-up of 40 months, the 3-year progression free survival (PFS) was 77% (95% CI: 67-88%) and the overall survival was 95% (90-100%). Significant adverse prognostic markers for progression were weak/negative TARC staining of Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg cells in the baseline biopsy, and a high standard uptake value (SUV)mean or SUVpeak on the baseline PET scan. After one cycle of BV-DHAP, sTARC levels were strongly associated with the risk of progression using a cutoff of 500 pg/ml. On the pre-ASCT PET scan, SUVpeak was highly prognostic for progression post-ASCT. Vitamin D, LDH and metabolic tumor volume had low prognostic value. In conclusion, we established the prognostic impact of sTARC, TARC staining, and quantitative PET parameters for R/R cHL, allowing the use of these parameters in prospective risk-stratified clinical trials. Trial registration: NCT02280993.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.