Patients were randomized (1:1) to receive either pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks or brentuximab vedotin (BV) 1.8 mg/kg every 3 weeks for up to 2 years. Efficacy was based on progression-free survival (PFS) per blinded, independent central review assessment. PFS was statistically significant longer in the pembrolizumab arm. The average PFS was 13.2 months (95% CI, 10.9, 19.4) in the pembrolizumab arm and 8.3 months (95% CI, 5.7, 8.8) in the BV arm, with a hazard ratio of 0.65 (95% CI, 0.48, 0.88; P = .0027).
Reports of serious adverse reactions occurred in 30% of the patients who received pembrolizumab. Serious adverse reactions in ≥1% of patients included pneumonitis, pneumonia, pyrexia, myocarditis, acute kidney injury, febrile neutropenia, and sepsis. Adverse reactions in ≥20% of pembrolizumab recipients included upper respiratory tract infection, musculoskeletal pain, diarrhea, cough, pyrexia, fatigue, and rash. The study also found that 38% of patients had adverse reactions requiring systemic corticosteroids, including pneumonitis in 11%.
The recommended pembrolizumab dosage for patients with lymphoma is 200 mg every 3 weeks or 400 mg every 6 weeks IV for adults, or 2 mg/kg (up to 200 mg) every 3 weeks IV for pediatric patients, for up to 2 years.
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