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A case report and literature review of primary resistant Hodgkin lymphoma: a response to anti-PD-1 after failure of autologous stem cell transplantation and brentuximab vedotin

Authors Xu P, Wang F, Guan C, Ouyang J, Shao X, Chen B

Received 10 May 2016

Accepted for publication 16 August 2016

Published 21 September 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 5781—5789

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S112472

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Ram Prasad

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jianmin Xu


Peipei Xu, Fan Wang, Chaoyang Guan, Jian Ouyang, Xiaoyan Shao, Bing Chen

Department of Hematology, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a highly curable hematologic malignancy, and ~70% of cases can be cured with combination chemotherapy with or without radiation. However, patients with primary resistant disease have a cure rate of <30%. For such patients, high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is considered to be the standard treatment. If patients fail to respond to ASCT or relapse soon thereafter, they usually receive another ASCT, allogeneic stem cell transplantation or treatment with novel agents. This case report presents the case of a 54-year-old patient with primary resistant HL who received single-agent treatment, brentuximab vedotin, after ASCT relapse. Despite treatment with brentuximab vedotin, the disease continued to progress. In patients with such highly resistant disease, the treatment options are limited. Depending on the physical condition and the willingness of the patient, pembrolizumab, a programmed cell death protein-1 inhibitor, can be given as salvage therapy. But, out of our expectation, the patient achieved a very good partial response after four cycles of pembrolizumab. No serious adverse events were observed with pembrolizumab treatment. This case provides support for a new and effective strategy for treating primary resistant Hodgkin lymphoma.

Keywords: Hodgkin lymphoma, autologous stem cell transplant, brentuximab vedotin, pembrolizumab, PD-1, good response

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