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Published on 31 July 2014

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People in Ireland innovative cancer treatment access

Takeda Products Ireland Ltd has announced that Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) is now available for use in Ireland for the treatment of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL).

It will be used in the treatment of disease that has not responded to (refractory) or has returned (relapsed) following an autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) or at least two previous therapies, when ASCT or multi-agent chemotherapy is not a treatment option.

Takeda Products Ireland Ltd has announced that Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) is now available for use in Ireland for the treatment of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL).

It will be used in the treatment of disease that has not responded to (refractory) or has returned (relapsed) following an autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) or at least two previous therapies, when ASCT or multi-agent chemotherapy is not a treatment option.

The antibody-drug conjugate will also be available for the treatment of patients with a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (sALCL), whose disease has not responded to (refractory) or has returned (relapsed) following previous treatments.(1,2)

The availability of this treatment offers further hope to patients at this stage of disease, who have limited effective treatment options left. Funding for brentuximab vedotin is now available to hospitals via the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Oncology Drug Management System.(1)

Commenting on the HSE decision, Dr Amjad Hayat, Consultant Haematologist, University Hospital Galway said:  “It is great news that brentuximab vedotin is now available for this group of patients Ð patients that are difficult to treat because their disease tends to be resistant to treatments currently available. The impressive results seen in clinical trials, and in clinical practice in other countries, are rarely seen with a single-agent therapy; and what is even more promising is that data are showing that treatment responses are maintained long-term, up to three years and even longer in some patients.

HL is a type of cancer that often affects younger people who are in the prime of life.(3) Most people with HL are treated successfully, but for between 10 to 30%, the current best treatments may not work.(4) For these people with relapsed or refractory HL who have already had very intensive chemotherapy, including for some a SCT, the outlook is poor.(5) The few remaining treatment options may be beneficial in a small number of patients but they are toxic and associated with unpleasant side effects.(6–8)

sALCL is a rare and aggressive form of cancer experienced by people of all ages.(9) Up to 30% of sALCL patients do not respond to initial treatment and in 25 to 45% of sALCL patients their disease returns; therefore, new treatments are urgently needed for these patients.(10)

References

  1. Health Service Executive. Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) 50mg powder for concentrate for solution infusion x1 Vial. August 2014.
  2. Adcetris Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC).
  3. National Cancer Registry Ireland. Cancer Trends. HodgkinÕs lymphoma. Available at: http://www.ncri.ie/sites/ncri/files/pubs/CancerTrendsNo.19-HodgkinsLymphoma.pdf (Last accessed: July 2014).
  4. Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL). Oct 2011. Available at: https://leukaemialymphomaresearch.org.uk/sites/default/files/hodgkin_lymphoma_oct_2011_1.pdf (Last accessed: July 2014).
  5. Moskowitz AJ et al. Outcomes for Patients Who Fail High Dose Chemoradiotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Rescue for Relapsed and Primary Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma. Br J Haematol. 2009;146(2):158–63.
  6. Jona A, Younes A. Novel treatment strategies for patients with relapsed classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Blood Rev. 2010;24(6):233–8.
  7. Horning S et al. Defining a population of Hodgkin lymphoma patients for novel therapeutics: An international effort. 10th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (118). 6/2008
  8. Crump M. Management of Hodgkin lymphoma in relapse after autologous stem cell transplant. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program 2008;326–33.
  9. Jacobsen E. Lymphoma Series: Variants of Large-Cell Lymphoma. Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma, T-/Null-Cell Type. The Oncologist. 2006;11:831–40.
  10. Fanin R et al. Autologous stem cell transplantation for T and null cell CD30-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma: analysis of 64 adult and paediatric cases reported to the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT). Bone Marrow Transplant 1999;23(5):437–42.


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