Improving the Standard of Care for Advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma With Mitul Gandhi, MD

At the recent American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, updated results were presented for the SGN35-027 study of brentuximab vedotin plus nivolumab and chemotherapy for advanced-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma. One of its authors, Dr. Mitul Gandhi of Virginia Cancer Specialists, sat down with Oncology Data Advisor while there to discuss the importance of the trial’s results and the next steps for improving upon the standard of care for advanced Hodgkin lymphoma.  

This podcast episode was recorded live by Oncology Data Advisor and ConveyMED at the 2022 ASH Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Oncology Data Advisor: Welcome to Oncology Data Advisor. Today, we’re here at the ASH Annual Meeting and I’m with Dr. Mitul Gandhi. Thanks so much for being here.

Mitul Gandhi, MD: My pleasure.

Oncology Data Advisor: Would you like to introduce yourself and tell us about what you do?

Dr. Gandhi: Sure, my name is Mitul Gandhi. I’m a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist, part of Virginia Cancer Specialists, and we are part of the US Oncology Network.

Oncology Data Advisor: Great. So, I believe we’re talking today about your study on brentuximab vedotin for advanced classic Hodgkin lymphoma. Would you like to tell us about this study?

Dr. Gandhi: Yes. This is a multicenter, multipart study. It’s evaluating a novel combination of nivolumab, which is a checkpoint inhibitor, along with brentuximab, which is an anti-CD30 antibody-drug conjugate, in combination with a tapered-down cytotoxic therapy backbone of doxorubicin and dacarbazine in classical Hodgkin lymphoma. There are multiple parts of this study. This particular part, Part B, is evaluating outcomes and safety in stage III and IV, along with bulky stage II.

Oncology Data Advisor: Great, so what are the results of the study?

Dr. Gandhi: The efficacy data from Part B shows an encouraging signal with a 93% overall response rate, an 88% complete response rate, and an on-balance and manageable toxicity profile, many of the adverse events being well-known to these agents individually. There were grade 3 treatment-related adverse events in approximately 50% of patients, dominated by nausea, fatigue, and peripheral sensory neuropathy.

Oncology Data Advisor: What are the next steps for this study?

Dr. Gandhi: This was a very important first step to demonstrate the efficacy of this combination, particularly as the cytotoxic backbone is pared down. I think the logical next step is to evaluate it in comparison with the existing standard of care, which represents either ABVD (doxorubicin/bleomycin/vinblastine/dacarbazine) and omitting bleomycin in a positron emission tomography (PET)–stratified manner, or the ECHELON-1 standard of care, brentuximab plus AVD (doxorubicin/vinblastine/dacarbazine), and seeing if it represents an equivalent and hopefully superior combination. Other iterations would be further doses or tapering of the cytotoxic backbone to minimize the number of agents that you need, but still being able to achieve effective long-term durable remissions.

Oncology Data Advisor: Anything else you’d like to share about the research you’ve been seeing here?

Dr. Mitul Gandhi: This is obviously a very exciting conference. This particular meeting seems like it’s going to be appropriately dominated by the efficacy data with a lot of cellular therapy products, in both the lymphoma and the myeloma space. We’re particularly excited about the data on bispecific antibody therapies, again in a lot of the lymphoma and myeloma space. I’m looking forward to seeing how that’s going to be implemented into current practice and inform some of the next generation of regimens.

Oncology Data Advisor. Fantastic, thanks much for sharing this.

Dr. Gandhi: Thank you guys.

Thank you for listening to this podcast, recorded live at the 2022 ASH Annual Meeting by Oncology Data Advisor and ConveyMED. For more expert perspectives on the latest in cancer research and treatment, be sure to subscribe to the podcast at and Don’t forget to follow us on social media for news, exclusive interviews, and more.

About Dr. Gandhi

Mitul Gandhi, MD, is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist at Virginia Cancer Specialists, based in Gainesville, Virginia. Previously, he was Chief Fellow in the Medical Oncology and Hematology Fellowship Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He specializes in the treatment of leukemias, lymphomas, and multiple myeloma, and is an active participant in clinical trials investigating novel therapeutics in malignant hematology.

For More Information

Lee H, Flinn IW, Melear J, et al (2022). Brentuximab vedotin, nivolumab, doxorubicin, and dacarbazine (AN+AD) for advanced stage classic Hodgkin lymphoma: updated efficacy and safety results from the single-arm phase 2 study (SGN35-027) (part B). 64th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting. Abstract 314.

Transcript edited for clarity. Any views expressed above are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Oncology Data Advisor. 

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