A Phase II Study of Pembrolizumab Immunotherapy in Patients with Recurrent or Persistent Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

Full Title

A Phase II Clinical Trial of MK-3475 (Pembrolizumab) in Subjects with Relapsed or Refractory (R/R) Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL)


This study is evaluating the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in patients with recurrent or persistent classical Hodgkin lymphoma whose cancers came back or kept growing after autologous stem cell transplant and/or treatment with brentuximab vedotin. Doctors hope that treatment with a single drug will be effective in these patients.

Pembrolizumab works by blocking a molecule called PD-1, which exists on certain types of white blood cells called T cells. T cells are part of the immune system. By blocking this molecule on T cells, this medicine helps the immune system detect and attack cancer cells.

Pembrolizumab is already approved to treat melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer; its use in this study is considered investigational. It is given intravenously (by vein).


To be eligible for this study, patients must meet several criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Patients must have classical Hodgkin lymphoma:
    - that came back or continued to grow after an autologous stem cell transplant and brentuximab treatment, OR
    - that came back despite brentuximab treatment, and patients never had an autologous stem cell transplant, OR
    - that persists despite autologous stem cell transplant, but patients did not receive brentuximab after transplant (brentuximab before transplant is allowed).
  • Patients must recover from the serious side effects of prior therapies before entering the study.
  • Patients must be physically well enough that they are fully ambulatory, capable of all self care, and are capable of all but physically strenuous activities. As an example, patients must be well enough that they would be able to carry out office work or light housework.
  • This study is for patients age 18 and older.

For more information about this study and to inquire about eligibility, please contact Dr. Craig Moskowitz at 212-639-2696.