KEYNOTE-204: Phase III study of Pembrolizumab vs Brentuximab vedotin in relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma

KEYNOTE-204: Randomized, open-label, phase III study of pembrolizumab (pembro) versus brentuximab vedotin (BV) in relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma (R/R cHL)

Abstract No : 8005

Abstract Type : Oral Abstract Session

Indication : Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL)

Intervention : Pembrolizumab

Company : Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co.

Technology : Immunocheckpoint


304 pts were randomized and 300 were treated (148, pembro; 152, BV); 256 discontinued. Median (range) follow-up: 24.7 (0.6-42.3) mo. 15 pts were BV exposed. Median (range) time on treatment was 305.0 (1-814) and 146.5 (1-794) days with pembro and BV, respectively. Statistically significant improvement was observed with pembro vs BV for primary PFS analysis (HR 0.65 [95% CI 0.48-0.88; P =0.00271]; median 13.2 vs 8.3 mo); 12-mo PFS rates were 53.9% vs 35.6%, respectively. Benefit was observed in all subgroups tested, including pts with no auto-SCT (HR=0.61), primary refractory disease (HR=0.52), prior BV (HR=0.34) and BV naive (HR=0.67). Significant improvement in PFS-secondary was observed with pembro vs BV (HR 0.62 [95% CI 0.46-0.85]; median 12.6 vs 8.2 mo). Per investigator assessment, PFS was longer with pembro vs BV (HR 0.49 [95% CI 0.36-0.67]; median 19.2 vs 8.2 mo). ORR was 65.6% for pembro and 54.2% for BV; CR rates were 24.5% and 24.2%, respectively. Median (range) DOR was 20.7 mo (0.0+ to 33.2+) for pembro and 13.8 mo (0.0+ to 33.9+) for BV. Grade 3-5 TRAEs: 19.6% of pts with pembro and 25.0% with BV. One death due to TRAE occurred with pembro (pneumonia).


In pts with R/R cHL, pembro was superior to BV and demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in PFS across all subgroups, with safety consistent with previous reports. Pembro monotherapy should be standard of care for this pt population with R/R/cHL.


Pembrolizumab emerges as new SoC after demonstrating superiority over BV across subgroups (mPFS 13.2 vs 8.3 mos).

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