International Pediatric Lymphoma Trial

Novel therapy helps avoid the potentially toxic effects of stem cell transplant.


Hackensack Meridian Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, the only pediatric stem cell transplant and cellular therapy program in the state of NJ, participated in a joint European and American trial of two innovative drugs, to avoid the use of a stem cell transplant (and, thereby, its toxic effects such as infertility and organ damage). The purpose of this study was to determine whether nivolumab plus brentuximab vedotin (followed by brentuximab vedotin plus bendamustine in a patient with suboptimal response) is safe and effective in treating patients with Hodgkin lymphoma who have relapsed after initial treatment.

Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is one of 106 locations worldwide to have participated in the study. The Children’s Hospital patient is the 18th patient worldwide, and is the 6th patient in the U.S. in the cohort, that did not utilize stem cell transplant. The patient completed therapy in the trial more than one year ago and is currently in complete remission.

Because cure rates for Hodgkin lymphoma are high, only a fraction of children and young adults relapse, making it more difficult to conduct clinical trials for relapsed pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma. This trial is designed to find a subset of patients whose relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma can be cured without the acute and long-term toxicity of stem cell transplant.

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