Pembrolizumab is a medicinal product that is being investigated as treatment for patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) who have failed to achieve a
response or progressed after autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT), or have not received, or who are not candidates for ASCT. Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer of the lymphatic
system and it is the most common type. The condition is called relapsed or refractory when it recurs after a period of improvement or when it does not respond to treatment. The most
common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a swelling in the neck, armpit or groin.
Pembrolizumab, given by intravenous infusion, acts by binding to a protein called antiprogrammed death‐ligand 1 (PD‐L1) that is found on the cancer cells or immune cells trying
to attack cancer cells. Binding to this protein can lead to the activation of the body’s immune system to fight tumour cells. In cHL, pembrolizumab has promising results. If licensed it will
provide a treatment option for cHL patients who have failed ASCT or are not eligible for it.
Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy that is currently licensed in the UK for the treatment of several types of advanced cancers such as melanoma, non‐small cell lung cancer, and kidney cancer. It blocks a protein called programmed death-1 (PD-1), which is found on the surface of a type of immune cells called T-cells. Blocking PD-1 stimulates the T-cells to kill the cancer cells. Temozolomide in combination with radiotherapy is currently licensed in the UK for newly diagnosed glioblastoma in adults. The addition of nivolumab to temozolomide and radiotherapy will potentially offer an additional first line treatment option for adult patients who are newly diagnosed MGMT-methylated glioblastoma.