Nivolumab may provide long-term clinical benefits for patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL) after autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT), according to a poster presented at the 35th Annual Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium in New York.1

An interim analysis of a cohort in the CheckMate-205 study showed that nivolumab had an acceptable safety profile and demonstrated efficacy among patients with R/R cHL after post-auto-HCT brentuximab vedotin (BV).

For this extended analysis of the CheckMate-205 study, researchers administered intravenous nivolumab to 243 patients with R/R cHL who were separated into 3 cohorts: patients who were BV naive (cohort A), patients who had BV after auto-HCT (cohort B), and patients who had BV before and/or after auto-HCT (cohort C).

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The overall response rate (ORR) was 69%, with 33% and 39% of patients achieving complete response (CR) and partial response, respectively.

The overall median progression-free survival (PFS) was 15 months; median PFS in cohort A was 18 months (95% CI, 11-22), cohort B was 15 months (95% CI, 11-20), and cohort C was 12 months (95% CI, 11-18).

The overall median duration of response was 17 months, and lasted at least 15 months in all cohorts. Median overall survival (OS) was not reached in any cohort.

A post-hoc analysis revealed that patients refractory to first-line therapy, most recent prior line of therapy, and BV after auto-HCT achieved ORRs of 73%, 68%, and 68%, respectively, with 18%, 13%, and 7% achieving CRs, respectively.

Specifically, patients in cohort B had an ORR of 70% (95% CI, 51-84), and patients in cohort C had an ORR of 71% (95% CI, 63-78).

The median duration of response among patients refractory to first-line therapy, most recent prior line of therapy, and BV after auto-HCT was 17 months (95% CI, 13-not evaluable), 17 months (95% CI, 13-not evaluable), and 17 months (95% CI, 9-not evaluable), respectively.

Of the 44 nivolumab-treated patients who received allo-HCT, the incidence of transplant-related mortality (TRM) and GVHD post-allo-HCT were similar to historical data in cHL post-allo-HCT. Earlier literature had reported 100-day incidences of 26% to 60% for grade 2 to 4 acute GVHD and 6% to 28% for TRM.

Regarding safety, 23% of the study population experienced drug-related grade 3 to 4 adverse events; no treatment-related deaths were reported.

Editor’s Note: This article was corrected to reflect the study name, which is CheckMate-205.


  1. Fanale M, Engert A, Younes A, et al. Nivolumab for relapsed/refractory classical Hodgkin Lymphoma after autologous transplant: full results after extended follow-up of the phase 2 CheckMate 205 trial. Poster presented at: 35th Annual Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium; New York; November 8-10, 2017. Poster 561.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor