Adcetris is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat several types of lymphoma in adults including classical Hodgkin lymphoma, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, peripheral T-cell lymphoma, and mycosis fungoides. In most cases, Adcetris is indicated for use after other treatments have failed. Adcetris is usually prescribed in combination with other anti-lymphoma drugs such as Adriamycin, Vinblastine, and DTIC-Dome, or Cytoxan, Adriamycin, and corticosteroids. Adcetris is also known by its drug name, brentuximab vedotin.
Adcetris is used in immunotherapy for cancer. Adcetris is an antibody-drug conjugate consisting of two parts. Brentuximab is a biologic drug, a genetically engineered protein, or antibody, that targets the CD30 protein on lymphoma cells. Vedotin is a powerful anti-cancer drug too toxic to be administered on its own. In combination, the two molecules are believed to work by delivering the drug directly to lymphoma cells, where it causes cell death.
How do I take it?
Adcetris is administered as an intravenous infusion once every three weeks.
Adcetris comes in the form of a single-dose vial.
The FDA-approved label for Adcetris lists common side effects including fever, fatigue, upper respiratory infection, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, neuropathy (nerve pain, tingling, or pins-and-needles sensation in the extremities), hair loss, weight loss, anemia, and sores in the mouth and on mucous membranes that line the digestive tract.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Adcetris can include severe infections, liver or lung damage, fetal harm in pregnant women, gastrointestinal problems, and tumor lysis syndrome (a potentially fatal metabolic condition caused when many cancer cells die at the same time). Other serious side effects include severe hypersensitivity reactions and the potentially fatal skin reactions known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Taking Adcetris increases the risk of developing a fatal brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML can occur months after taking Adcetris.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Adcetris — Seattle Genetics
Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma — American Cancer Society
Immunotherapy — Lymphoma Research Foundation