A Phase II Study of Pembrolizumab Immunotherapy after Stem Cell Transplantation for Recurrent or Persistent Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma


Full Title

A Phase 2 Study of Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) after Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma,Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma and T-Cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma


In an autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT), a patient’s own blood-forming stem cells are collected, and he or she is then treated with high doses of chemotherapy. Afterward, the collected stem cells are re-infused back into the patient to re-establish the blood-forming system. ASCT is used to treat some patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma or diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) that has come back or continues to grow despite prior therapy. Even after a transplant, however, there is a risk of the cancer returning.

The purpose of this study is to see if the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab can reduce the risk of relapse and improve survival among patients having ASCT for recurrent or persistent classical Hodgkin lymphoma or DLBCL when pembrolizumab is given after transplantation. Pembrolizumab is already approved to treat several cancers; its use in this study is considered investigational. It works by blocking a molecule called PD-1 that shuts down the immune response. Blocking PD-1 can allow the immune system to detect and attack cancer cells. Pembrolizumab 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 or DLBCL that has come back or continues to grow despite initial therapy.
  • Patients may not have had any anticancer therapy after ASCT.
  • Patients must be able to walk and do routine activities for more than half of their normal waking hours.
  • This study is for patients age 18 and older.

For more information about this study and to inquire about eligibility, please contact Dr. Parastoo Dahi at 212-639-5846.