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Blood. 2019 Oct 3;134(14):1144-1153. doi: 10.1182/blood.2019000324. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Pembrolizumab in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma: 2-year follow-up of KEYNOTE-087.

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Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA.
Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, Institute of Hematology "Seràgnoli" University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.
Department of Hematology, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Department of Hematology-Oncology, Hopital Saint Louis, Paris, France.
Division of Cancer Sciences, The University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Department of Drug Development and Hematology, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.
Section of Experimental and Clinical Oncology, Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Department of Hematology, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake, Japan.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cologne and University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
Medical Oncology, Merck & Co, Inc, Kenilworth, NJ; and.
Department of Medicine, University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, FL.


Programmed death-1 inhibitors are approved for patients with relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma (RRcHL). We present the 2-year follow-up of the phase 2 KEYNOTE-087 study of pembrolizumab in 210 patients, based on HL progression after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) and subsequent brentuximab vedotin (BV; cohort 1); salvage chemotherapy and BV, with ineligibility for SCT owing to chemorefractory disease (cohort 2); and progression after SCT without BV (cohort 3). With a median follow-up of 27.6 months, the objective response rate (ORR) by blinded independent central review was 71.9% (95% CI, 65.3-77.9), the complete response rate (CRR) was 27.6%, and the partial response (PR) rate was 44.3%. Median duration of response was 16.5 months (range, 0.0+ to 27.0+ [+, no progressive disease at last assessment]) in all patients, 22.1 months in cohort 1, 11.1 months in cohort 2, and 24.4 months in cohort 3. Median progression-free survival was not reached in all patients with CR: 13.8 months (95% CI, 12.0-22.1) for patients with PR and 10.9 months (95% CI, 5.6-11.1) for patients with stable disease. Median overall survival was not reached in all patients or in any cohort. Treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) of any grade occurred in 153 (72.9%) patients; grades 3 and 4 occurred in 25 (12.0%) patients; none resulted in death. Results confirmed effective antitumor activity, durability of response, and manageable safety of pembrolizumab monotherapy in RRcHL, regardless of prior treatment and including chemoresistant cHL. This trial was registered at as #NCT02453594.

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