Improving the understanding of immunotherapy in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is one of the most frequent malignant lymphoma. Due to improvements in chemo- and radiotherapy, most patients today can be cured from their disease. However, there are substantial late-effects caused by the initial treatment including secondary neoplasias, organ damage, infertility and fatigue. Thus, there is a clear need to challenge standard treatment approaches including chemo- and radiotherapy.
In more recent years, the advent of targeted treatments such as the anti-CD30 ADC brentuximab vedotin and inhibitors of the PD1 pathway gave surprising results in multiple relapsed and refractory Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Current research of the German Hodgkin Study Group focus on the development of MRD measurement in HL patients treated either with standard regimes or those incorporating anti-PD1 antibodies. So far, unfortunately there is no established technique to reliably measure MRD in this malignancy. In addition, a number of clinical trials were initiated by our group in which anti-PD1 monoclonal antibodies are being used to either replace chemo- or radiotherapy or are combined with standard approaches in order to reduce the amount of chemo- and radiotherapy needed. To this end, we are evaluating the impact of PD1 treatment on the microenvironment and malignant cells in this disease in order to improve our understanding of PD1 treatment in classical Hodgkin lymphoma.