MONDAY, Dec. 3, 2018 (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 two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 1 to 4 in San Diego.

Nicole A. Carreau, M.D., 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 percent, respectively). The researchers found that the overall response rate to post-CBT treatment was 52.5 percent; 30 and 22.5 percent of patients had complete response (CR) and partial response (PR), respectively; 12.5 and 35.0 percent of patients had stable disease (SD) and progression of disease, respectively. Thirteen patients died, and nine patients have not progressed on subsequent therapy.

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 percent, respectively). For all patients, the objective response rate to post-CBT treatment was 52 percent: 34 and 18 percent had CR and PR, respectively. Sixteen percent of patients achieved SD, and 32 percent 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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