The purpose of this study is to find the highest dose of nivolumab (BMS-936558) in patients with multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, or chronic myelogenous leukemia that persists or has returned despite prior therapy. Nivolumab boosts the body’s immune system by targeting a protein on white blood cells called PD-1.
PD-1 normally maintains the balance of the immune system by shutting it down at the right time. Some cancers take advantage of this shut-down mechanism by activating PD-1, enabling them to escape attack by the body’s white blood cells. Nivolumab binds to and inactivates PD-1, enhancing the body’s ability to detect and destroy cancer cells.
Nivolumab is approved for treating melanoma and some metastatic squamous cell lung cancers; its use for treating other cancers is considered investigational. It is given intravenously (by vein).