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Successful treatment of paediatric refractory Hodgkin lymphoma with immunotherapy - A case report and literature review.

Acta Paediatrica 2024 April 11
AIM: To describe a rare case of primary refractory Hodgkin lymphoma nodular sclerosis syncytial variant in a child and review immunotherapy in relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma.

METHODS: We described the treatment course of a child with primary refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma and discussed different options for salvage therapy, with an emphasis on immunotherapy. We searched PubMed for all published clinical trials investigating immunotherapy in classic Hodgkin lymphoma written in English until 31 June, 2023. The reference list of each identified paper was searched for additional publications.

RESULTS: Our patient was salvaged with anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) antibody therapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue. Radiotherapy was avoided. We identified five one-armed phase II trials investigating anti-PD-1 therapy in first relapse/refractory disease in a total of 254 patients aged 9-71 years, of which one included 31 children. The complete remission rate before high-dose chemotherapy was 59%-95% overall and 67%-89% among those with refractory disease.

CONCLUSION: Although it remains to be proven in randomised trials, anti-PD-1 therapy may provide higher complete response rates than traditional chemotherapy. Anti-PD-1 therapy has the potential to increase the chance of cure while decreasing the risk of late effects from chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

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