Nav: Home

Immunotherapy agent yields full and partial remissions in aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas

December 05, 2016

SAN DIEGO, CA ¬- An immunotherapy drug able to induce lasting remissions in classical Hodgkin lymphoma may be equally effective in patients with either of two rare, aggressive forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, results from a small case series indicate. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators who treated the patients will report their findings at the 58th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) on Monday, December 5, 2016.

The research involved five patients with recurrent or refractory primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) or primary testicular lymphoma (PTL) who were treated with nivolumab, a drug that blocks a key protein, PD-1, on immune system T cells. The blocking allows the T cells to ignore signals that would dampen their attack on the lymphoma cells. Four of the patients had a complete response to the drug - showing no evidence of tumor on brain imaging - and one had a partial response.

Both PCNSL and PTL are aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphomas that occur outside the lymph nodes and respond poorly to conventional therapy. Nearly half of patients with PCNSL relapse within two years of diagnosis, and almost half of patients with PTL have their disease worsen after initial chemotherapy. For patients whose disease recurs or resists frontline therapy, there are few treatment options.

Nivolumab has had striking success in clinical trials involving patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Results from phase 1 and 2 trials show that approximately 70 percent of patients, all with drug-resistant forms of the disease, had full or partial remissions after treatment with the drug. Researchers in the lab of senior author Margaret Shipp, MD, of Dana-Farber discovered that PCNSL and PTL share a key molecular abnormality with classic Hodgkin lymphoma, leading them to hypothesize that nivolumab could be effective against these diseases as well.

"There have been major advances in treatment of PCNSL, including high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant, particularly for young and healthy patients," said study lead author Lakshmi Nayak, MD, of Dana-Farber. "But because the median age at which patients are diagnosed is 65, transplant is often not an option. Our findings are very encouraging, particularly as the responses to nivolumab in our patients have been durable for more than 10 months."

Based on their laboratory findings and clinical results, investigators have now opened a phase 2 trial of nivolumab in patients with relapsed or treatment-resistant PCNSL and PTL.
Co-authors are Ann LaCasce, MD, Margaretha Roemer, Bjoern Chapuy, MD, PhD, Philippe Armand, MD, PhD, and Scott Rodig, of Dana-Farber; Fabio Iwamoto, MD, of Columbia University; and Srinivasan Mukundan Jr., of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

From achieving the first remissions in childhood cancer with chemotherapy in 1948, to developing the very latest new therapies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world's leading centers of cancer research and treatment. It is the only center ranked in the top 4 of U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care.

Dana-Farber sits at the center of a wide range of collaborative efforts to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center provides the latest in cancer care for adults; Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center for children. The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center unites the cancer research efforts of five Harvard academic medical centers and two graduate schools, while Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care provides high quality cancer treatment in communities outside Boston's Longwood Medical Area.

Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique, 50/50 balance between cancer research and care, and much of the Institute's work is dedicated to translating the results of its discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Related Hodgkin Lymphoma Articles:

Treatment with PD-1 prior to stem cell transplant is safe for Hodgkin lymphoma patients
A new analysis shows that a donor stem cell transplant following treatment with an immune checkpoint inhibitor is generally safe and produces good outcomes for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.
No radiation needed for many aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients
Most people diagnosed with the most common type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can safely skip radiation treatment after a clear PET scan, according to new clinical trial results released today at the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.
Radiation may lower potential for side effects of CAR T therapy in non-hodgkin's lymphoma
Treating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients with radiation therapy as an additional treatment while they wait for their CAR T cells to be manufactured may reduce the risk of CAR T therapy side effects once it is administered.
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation in non-Hodgkin lymphoma: benefit remains unclear
Meaningful studies are lacking for certain patient groups. Disease-specific registries could help close the data gap.
Why Hodgkin's lymphoma cells grow uncontrollably
Although classical Hodgkin's lymphoma is generally easily treatable today, many aspects of the disease still remain a mystery.
Radiotherapy after chemo may improve survival in patients with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma
Patients with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma who have large tumors at the time of diagnosis may benefit from radiotherapy after chemotherapy even when all traces of the cancer appear to have gone, according to late-breaking results presented at the ESTRO 38 conference.
Combination immunotherapy shows high activity against recurrent Hodgkin lymphoma
A new combination of three drugs that harness the body's immune system is safe and effective, destroying most cancer cells in 95 percent of patients with recurrent Hodgkin lymphoma, according to the results of an early-phase study.
Study shows age doesn't affect survival in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after HCT
Results from a retrospective study presented at the 2018 BMT Tandem Meetings dispute age as a limiting factor to transplant eligibility, showing no differences in 4-year outcomes for patients older or younger than age 65.
T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma
A research team that includes Children's National Health System clinician-researchers has validated a way to outfox tumors.
New assay may boost targeted treatment of non-hodgkin lymphoma
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive cancer and the most frequently diagnosed non-Hodgkin lymphoma worldwide (nearly 40 percent of cases).
More Hodgkin Lymphoma News and Hodgkin Lymphoma Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at