Clinical Trial, Phase II
Journal Article
Multicenter Study
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Nivolumab for Newly Diagnosed Advanced-Stage Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma: Safety and Efficacy in the Phase II CheckMate 205 Study.

PURPOSE: Nivolumab, an anti-programmed death-1 monoclonal antibody, has demonstrated frequent and durable responses in relapsed/refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). We report results from Cohort D of the CheckMate 205 trial, which assessed nivolumab monotherapy followed by nivolumab plus doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (N-AVD) for newly diagnosed cHL.

METHODS: Patients 18 years of age or older with untreated, advanced-stage (defined as III to IV and IIB with unfavorable risk factors) cHL were eligible for Cohort D of this multicenter, noncomparative, phase II trial. Patients received nivolumab monotherapy for four doses, followed by 12 doses of N-AVD; all doses were every 2 weeks, and nivolumab was administered at 240 mg intravenously. The primary end point was safety. Efficacy end points included objective response rate and modified progression-free survival, defined as time to disease progression/relapse, death, or next therapy. Chromosome 9p24.1 alterations and programmed death-ligand 1 expression were assessed in Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg cells in evaluable patients.

RESULTS: A total of 51 patients were enrolled and treated. At diagnosis, 49% of patients had an International Prognostic Score of 3 or greater. Overall, 59% experienced a grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse event. Treatment-related febrile neutropenia was reported in 10% of patients. Endocrine immune-mediated adverse events were all grade 1 to 2 and did not require high-dose corticosteroids; all nonendocrine immune-mediated adverse events resolved (most commonly, rash; 5.9%). At the end of therapy, the objective response rate (95% CI) per independent radiology review committee was 84% (71% to 93%), with 67% (52% to 79%), achieving complete remission (five patients [10%] were nonevaluable and counted as nonresponders). With a minimum follow-up of 9.4 months, 9-month modified progression-free survival was 92%. Patients with higher-level Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg programmed death-ligand 1 expression had more favorable responses to N-AVD ( P = .041).

CONCLUSION: Nivolumab followed by N-AVD was associated with promising efficacy and safety profiles for newly diagnosed, advanced-stage cHL.

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