Brentuximab vedotin is a drug used to combat Hodgkin’s disease and other types of lymphoma. This chemotherapy medication works by binding to proteins within cancer cells so that the cells die. It is usually used when other lymphoma treatments are unsuccessful.
Patients who receive this type of chemotherapy may get JC virus. This is a common childhood virus that has no symptoms. However, this virus is dangerous to adults with a compromised immune system, such as people on chemotherapy or people who have AIDS. It can lead to a fatal infection of the brain and spinal cord called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.