HealthDay News — For heavily pretreated patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) or Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), response rates are high for treatment subsequent to checkpoint blockade therapy (CBT), according to 2 studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from December 1 to 4 in San Diego.

Nicole A. Carreau, MD, from NYU Langone Health in New York City, and colleagues examined the outcome of subsequent treatment in 42 patients with R/R NHL who received CBT. Post-CBT treatment included standard chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and clinical trial drugs (55.0, 22.5, and 22.5%, respectively). The researchers found that the overall response rate to post-CBT treatment was 52.5%; 30 and 22.5% of patients had complete response (CR) and partial response (PR), respectively; 12.5 and 35.0% of patients had stable disease (SD) and progression of disease, respectively. Thirteen patients died, and 9 patients have not progressed on subsequent therapy. 

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In a second study, Carreau and colleagues examined the results for 77 HL patients who received a subsequent line of therapy after CBT. Fifty of these patients met the inclusion criteria. Post-CBT regimens included standard chemotherapy, targeted therapy, conditioning regimens for stem cell transplant, other immunotherapy, or clinical trial drugs (46, 22, 16, 4, and 12%, respectively). For all patients, the objective response rate to post-CBT treatment was 52%: 34 and 18% had CR and PR, respectively. Sixteen percent of patients achieved SD, and 32% progressed.

“These are very high success rates for post-checkpoint blockade therapy, especially in patients for whom several drug therapies have failed, including the same or similar drugs used again after checkpoint therapy,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors from the studies disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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