New drugs that use the body's immune system to destroy cancer cells increase the effectiveness of drugs to patients. This is true even for the second line drugs, whose initial attempts failed to stop or reverse the disease.
The researchers say that their findings are the first multi-center data, which show that even when an immunotherapy "second line" can not control the disease, it is "sensitized" patients with lymphoma to better respond to future use of drugs that did not work the first time. There are several treatment options for patients with relapsed.
Studies included a review of medical records of men and women who were treated between 2012 and 2018 in 17 medical centers in the United States and Canada, all of whom did not have a permanent response to initial therapy, including stem cell transplantation, and / or standard chemotherapy with or without brentuximab vedotin (sold as Adcentris), a drug that encodes the immune system and helps chemotherapy. Subsequent treatment with so-called inhibitors of the checkpoint blockade, such as ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo), also failed to combat the spread of cancer. These drugs work by disabling the inhibitor switches or "control points" on the surfaces of immune T-cells, which are known to interfere with the identification of the immune system to attack the tumor cells.
However, 59 patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 30 responded to additional chemotherapy or other therapeutic treatment after taking a checkpoint inhibitors. Of the 29 patients who are still alive and receive treatment, 16 did not have a relapse.
In 112 patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma who have received blockade therapy requires some form of subsequent treatment of addiction to drugs. Sixty-six survivors, and 30 do not experience any deterioration of health.
"This is a very high success rates for treatment of the blockade after the checkpoint, especially in patients with multiple drug therapies have failed, including the same or similar drugs, which are used again after the control treatment," - says senior researcher and hematologist -oncologist Catherine Diefenbach, MD, Diefenbach. She warned that the potential clinical trials in which patients are carefully monitored since the start of therapy for a long time is needed before the researchers will be able to conclude whether the control of the blockade therapy is responsible for the greater effectiveness of subsequent treatments.
Both types of lymphoma - a cancer cells are immune cells. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more common in the United States are diagnosed each year and more than 72,000 new cases (with more than 20,000 deaths from the disease) as compared to about 8,500 for Hodgkin's lymphoma (and more than 1,000 deaths).