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Relapsed and Refractory

Most patients with classical HL are cured by their initial (first-line) treatment. However, in a significant percentage of patients—especially those with advanced stage HL—the disease relapses or is refractory.

  • Relapse means the disease comes back after a remission following treatment.
  • Refractory means the disease has not responded to treatment. For these patients, HL is still potentially curable.

Treatment of Relapsed or Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma

The following are treatments approved for relapsed and refractory Hodgkin lymphoma

  • Further chemotherapy is given, such as
    • ICE—ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide
    • DHAP—dexamethasone, high-dose Ara-C (cytarabine), Platinol® (cisplatin)
    • ESHAP—etoposide, methylprednisolone, high-dose cytarabine, cisplatin
    • GDP—gemcitabine, dexamethasone, Platinol® (cisplatin)
    • GVD—gemcitabine, vinorelbine, liposomal doxorubicin
    • IGEV—ifosfamide, gemcitabine, vinorelbine
    • C-MOPP—cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone
    • MINE—etoposide (Etopophos®), ifosfamide, mesna (Mesnex®), mitoxantrone (Novantrone®)
    • GCD—gemcitabine (Gemzar®), carboplatin, dexamethasone
    • Bendamustine (Bendeka®)
    • Bendamustine, carboplatin, etoposide
    • Everolimus (Afinitor®)
    • GEMOX—gemcitabine, oxaliplatin
  • Monoclonal antibody therapy
    • Brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®), either alone or in combination with chemotherapy or other agents)
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Immunotherapy, specifically checkpoint inhibitors  
    • Nivolumab (Opdivo®)*
    • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda®)*

*These treatments are for patients whose disease relapsed after autologous stem cell transplantation and brentuximab vedotin or for patients who are not eligible for transplant based on comorbidities or failure of second-line chemotherapy.

For information about the drugs listed on this page, visit Drug Listings.

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