In a nutshell
This study looked at the targeted therapy nivolumab (Opdivo) to treat relapsed classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). It found that most patients with relapsed cHL responded to nivolumab.
HL is a cancer of the lymph nodes which has good treatment options. However, roughly a third of patients with cHL will have the cancer relapse (return) after initial treatment. Nivolumab is a targeted therapy that was approved for relapsed cHL in 2016 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nivolumab works by blocking signals which would make T-cells less active. This allows the immune system to more effectively kill cHL cancer cells.
Clinical trials are done to determine if medications such as nivolumab are effective. Patients are closely monitored during these trials, which may be different from standard treatment outside of a university setting. It is not clear how patients with relapsed cHL respond to nivolumab during standard treatment outside of a trial.
Methods & findings
This study included records from 86 patients treated for relapsed cHL at 24 locations in Turkey. All patients were treated with nivolumab. They were followed for 29 months on average.
70% of patients responded to nivolumab. 36% of patients had a complete response, meaning the cancer could no longer be detected. 28 of these patients proceeded to have a stem cell transplant (SCT).
At 24 months after the start of treatment, 58.5% of patients had not had the cancer return. The 2-year survival rate was 78.7%.
9 patients stopped treatment due to side effects. The most common side effects were fatigue, infections, itching, fever, and rash.
The bottom line
This study found that nivolumab was an effective treatment for relapsed cHL in a real-world setting.
The fine print
This study does not compare nivolumab to another treatment. However, these results are similar to those in clinical trials.
Published By :
Annals of Hematology
Jun 07, 2020
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