From Miguel Islas-Ohlmayer, MD, Medical Oncologist, Hematologist, and Transplant Specialist at OHC

October 8, 2020

Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL) is considered a highly treatable blood cancer. Advancements in diagnosis and treatment have helped give people with this disease the chance for a full recovery.

However, 20 percent of CHL patients do not respond well to treatment. Some develop serious side effects later in life, including infertility, heart problems, and secondary cancers, such as lung cancer and breast cancer.

These long-term side effects were caused in part by the types of chemotherapy and high doses of radiation therapy delivered to large areas of the body used at that time. Newer types and doses of chemotherapy and targeted radiation therapy have reduced these risks – but have not yet completely eliminated them.

At OHC, we’re excited about a new clinical trial that is evaluating two new drug combinations that look promising for their ability to treat CHL while causing fewer and/or milder side effects. One of the treatment combinations, known as A+AVD, includes the targeted anticancer drug, brentuximab vedotin, and three chemotherapy drugs, doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine. The other combination, known as AN+AD, includes brentuximab vedotin, plus nivolumab, doxorubicin, and dacarbazine. Patients will receive one treatment or the other.

These drugs work in different ways to stop the growth of cancer cells. What will be important is whether or not they cause side effects and how mild or intense they may be. This could be a game-changer for patients who want remission without giving up their overall health and lifestyle.

When I met with Tyler Fegan, 26, who was diagnosed with CHL, I told him all about the A+AVD treatment and that he met the criteria to take it through our clinical trial. I explained how it can treat his cancer and may have few or no side effects and they may be mild.

“Being diagnosed with cancer has been a lot, so I had to think about it,” said Tyler, a Norwood resident. “And Dr. Islas has been great and very understanding. So, I talked to my mom and my friends and they told me to do it, so I am. And so far, it’s going well.”

At OHC, my colleagues and I are passionate about bringing life-changing treatments to all cancer patients in the region. Patients like Tyler inspire us to continue our work to offer these treatment options through our clinical trials. Learn more about OHC’s clinical trials program, or request a second opinion, at or call 1-888-649-4800.

OHC’s Miguel Islas-Ohlmayer, MD, is a medical oncologist, hematologist and blood and marrow/stem cell transplant specialist who has a special interest in blood cancers and stem cell transplantation. He is actively involved in cancer research and serves as principal investigator for lymphoma clinical trials at OHC, including this trial for classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Comments (2)

2 responses to “OHC doctors are evaluating two new treatments for classic Hodgkin lymphoma that may offer fewer, milder side effects.”

  1. Mom says:

    Keeping you in my prayers.

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