Drugs of interest to pathologists
Drugs related to surgical pathology
Brentuximab vedotin

Topic Completed: 1 January 2012

Minor changes: 22 August 2019

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PubMed Search: Brentuximab vedotin [title] review [ptyp]

Him G. Kwee, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 51
Page views in 2020 to date: 23
Cite this page: Kwee HG. Brentuximab vedotin. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/drugsbrentuximab.html. Accessed August 14th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • A monoclonal antibody drug conjugate targeting CD30 (cell membrane protein)
Trade name
  • Adcetris®
Clinical information
Approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration on August 19, 2011 for:
  • Cost is $4,500 per vial; one dose is 3 vials
  • The average patient may need 7 to 9 doses for a projected cost of ~ $100,000
Drug administration
  • Brentuximab vedotin consists of a chimeric (mouse / human) IgG1 monoclonal antibody that targets CD30; the antibody is attached by an enzyme cleavable linker to a synthetic antimitotic agent, MMAE (monomethyl auristatin E)
  • The drug is given intravenously and is stable in the bloodstream but after internalization by CD30+ tumor cells, MMAE is released and inhibits mitosis of the tumor cells (Blood 2003;102:1458)
  • Has been used for ALK+ anaplastic large cell lymphoma, as well as ALK- cases
  • Since MMAE is an antitubulin agent inhibiting microtubular function, it can cause peripheral neuropathy
  • Other side effects: neutropenia, tumor lysis syndrome, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, fatigue or infusion reactions (N Engl J Med 2010;363:1812)
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