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.
-end-
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:

Many Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma patients can skip radiation, collaborative study finds
Skipping radiation and receiving less chemotherapy may become the new standard of care for some lymphoma patients, according to a recent collaborative University of Arizona Health Sciences-led study.
The Josep Carreras Institute identifies a marker of poor evolution in Hodgkin's lymphoma
Dr. Manel Esteller, director of the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, published today in Blood journal, the discovery of a marker that allows predicting which patient with Hodgkin's lymphoma will present the aggressive clinical course, and will therefore be a case of special risk.
Excellent research results for CAR-T Cell therapy against Hodgkin lymphoma
Results from an early-phase clinical trial found CAR-T cell therapy, which attacks cancer cells using a person's reprogrammed immune cells, was highly active in patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma.
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.
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: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.