In this study, researchers are evaluating the safety and effectiveness of nivolumab in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma that has returned after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Nivolumab boosts the body’s immune system by targeting a protein on 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, enabling them to escape attack by the immune system. Nivolumab binds to and inactivates PD-1, enhancing the body’s immune cells to detect and destroy the lymphoma cells. It is given intravenously (by vein), once every two weeks.
Nivolumab is approved for treating melanoma and some metastatic squamous cell lung cancers; its use for treating other cancers is considered investigational.