Vol 49, No 4 (2018)
Original Research Article/Praca Oryginalna
Published online: 2018-12-31

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Nivolumab for relapsed/refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma after brentuximab vedotin failure – Polish Lymphoma Research Group real-life experience

Monika Długosz-Danecka1, Michał Szymczyk2, Joanna Fischer1, Anna Łojko-Dankowska3, Justyna Rybka4, Joanna Mańko5, Katarzyna Duda4, Wojciech Jurczak1
DOI: 10.2478/ahp-2018-0026
Acta Haematol Pol 2018;49(4):228-233.



Polish centers analyzed retrospectively the real-life experience with nivolumab in relapsed/refractory (R/R) classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) patients, after brentuximab vedotin (BV ) failure.


Despite the effective frontline treatment, for cHL patients relapsing after autologous stem cell transplantation, the only effective strategy remains the novel agents. Nivolumab, a checkpoint inhibitor, demonstrates the clinical benefit with an acceptable safety profile.

Materials and methods

Retrospective analysis included 16 adult patients with R/R cHL after BV failure. All patients received single-agent nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.


After six cycles of nivolumab the overall response rate was 81% (complete remission rate of 56%, partial remission rate of 25%). The median PFS was not reached after a median follow-up of 19 months. Adverse events (AEs) of any grade occurred in 12 patients (75%), including grade 3 AEs observed in 5 patients (31%). There were no AEs of grade 4 or 5. After a median of 25 nivolumab doses, 62% of responding patients proceeded to allogeneic stem cell transplantation.


Nivolumab monotherapy demonstrated a high efficacy and safety in R/R cHL patients after BV failure. More patients and longer follow-up may further establish the potential benefit.

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