Prescriber's Corner

Polatuzumab Vedotin for the Treatment of Relapsed/Refractory Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma in Transplant-Ineligible Patients

Melanie Douglas, MS, PA-C

From Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

Author’s disclosure of conflict of interest is found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Melanie Douglas, MS, PA-C, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065. E-mail: douglasm@mskcc.org


J Adv Pract Oncol 2020;11(5):521–528 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2020.11.5.8 | © 2020 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Although 5-year survival rates in the first-line setting can range from 60% to 70%, up to 50% of patients become refractory or relapse after treatment (Crump et al., 2017). The standard treatment for relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is salvage chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplant. Nonetheless, over 60% of patients are transplant ineligible, and there is currently no standard treatment option for these patients (Sarkozy & Sehn, 2018). Age, comorbidities, performance status, and disease deemed not responsive to chemotherapy conditioning are various factors potentially disqualifying patients for transplant. There is a strong demand for novel therapies. Polatuzumab vedotin, a targeted immunotherapy, was approved in 2019 by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for the treatment of relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and is recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network for patients who are transplant ineligible. This article reviews the pharmacology of polatuzumab vedotin, along with its performance in clinical trials, financial considerations, and management of adverse effects.




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