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What Is Brentuximab Vedotin Used For?

Brentuximab vedotin is prescribed for the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma in adults. It works by binding to certain proteins within the cancer cells, causing them to die. Certain off-label uses for brentuximab vedotin are being studied, such as treating other types of lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma.

An Overview of Uses for Brentuximab Vedotin

Brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris™) is a prescription chemotherapy medication. It is approved to treat certain types of lymphoma after other treatments have been tried unsuccessfully. Brentuximab vedotin is specifically used in the treatment of:
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that occurs when white blood cells in the lymphatic system (known as lymphocytes) become abnormal and grow without control. The two main types of lymphocytes that can be affected by lymphoma include:
  • T-lymphocytes (T-cells)
  • B-lymphocytes (B-cells).
The lymphatic system is an important part of the body's immune system. Because lymph tissue is found throughout the body, lymphoma can begin in almost any part of the body and spread to almost any tissue or organ in the body.
Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are the two main types of lymphoma. These types are broad terms that include several different cancers. The main difference between Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is the lymphocyte involved. Hodgkin's lymphoma is characterized by the presence of a specific type of abnormal lymphoid cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell.
ALCL is a type of lymphoma that affects T-cells. The disease can be confined to the skin (cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma) or can spread into the lymph nodes or other organs (systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma). Systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma is usually an aggressive form of lymphoma, which means it is a fast-growing cancer.
There are a variety of treatments available for lymphoma, including chemotherapy and radiation. Autologous stem cell transplant is a treatment in which stem cells are collected from the body, stored, and then injected back into the bloodstream, usually after intensive chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The injected stem cells migrate to the bone marrow, where they begin to produce new blood cells.
When treating Hodgkin's lymphoma, brentuximab vedotin is approved for use in the following circumstances:
  • When the disease has progressed despite treatment with autologous stem cell transplant
  • When autologous stem cell transplant is not an option and at least two different chemotherapy treatments that included more than one medication were unsuccessful.
Brentuximab vedotin is used to treat systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma after at least one multi-drug chemotherapy treatment failed.
Although brentuximab vedotin has been shown to reduce tumor sizes, it has not been shown to improve symptoms or help people live longer.
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Brentuximab Drug Information

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