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EHA-SWG Rare Lymphomas: Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

On March 12th, at the EHA-SWG Rare Lymphomas Scientific Meeting 2017 in Barcelona, Spain, Marie José Kersten chaired a scientific session on ‘Fighting Lymphoma with T-cells’. The second presentation of this session was by Stephen Ansell, from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA, on the topic of ‘Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors’. Below are the key highlights from this presentation:

  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors may relieve the immune suppression seen in the lymphoma
  • PD-L1 and PD-L2 expression is increased in lymphoma cells
  • Anti-PD1 drugs target and prevent suppressive PD-L1 and PD-L2 signaling from occurring in lymphoma
  • Nivolumab and pembrolizumab have been shown to be effective in treating Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Phase II studies have also had positive results for nivolumab and pembrolizumab in classical HL
  • Lower responses were seen in phase I results of nivolumab in R/R B-cell lymphoma and T-cell lymphoma
  • Combining PD-1 blockade with CTLA-4 blockade via nivolumab and ipilimumab has been shown to be effective in HL (ORR = 74%), but less effective in B-cell NHL (ORR = 20%)
  • Together this indicates that combination therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors is a promising treatment option for NHL and HL
    References:
    1. Ansell S. Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. 2017 Mar 12. EHA-SWG Rare Lymphomas. Barcelona, Spain.