Annals of Hematology

, Volume 98, Issue 10, pp 2451–2455 | Cite as

Low-dose pembrolizumab re-treatment induced complete radiologic and molecular remission in Hodgkin lymphoma recurring from a previous relapse successfully treated by pembrolizumab

  • Yok-Lam KwongEmail author
  • Florence Loong
  • Pek-Lan Khong
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The neoplastic Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) characteristically over-express the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PDL1) and PDL2. Ligation of PDL1 and PDL2 with the inhibitory receptor PD1 on effector T cells is a mechanism by which RS cells escape immunosurveillance. Accordingly, blockade of PDL1/PDL2 binding to PD1 on effector T cells with anti-PD1 antibodies re-establishes anti-lymphoma immunity and is a novel therapeutic strategy for relapsed/refractory cHL [1].

Studies of two anti-PD1 antibodies nivolumab [2] and pembrolizumab [3] in relapsed/refractory cHL showed overall response rates (ORR) of 65–87% and complete response rates (CR) of 16–17%. The optimal post-remission strategies for patients treated with anti-PD1 antibodies have not been defined. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is performed for eligible patients. For HSCT-ineligible patients, a continuation of anti-PD1 antibodies is adopted. However, for patients...


Author contribution

Y.L. Kwong: treated the patient and wrote and approved the manuscript

F. Loong: performed the histopathologic diagnosis and wrote and approved the manuscript

P.L. Khong: performed the radiologic diagnosis and wrote and approved the manuscript

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Not applicable.

Informed consent

Patient gave informed consent to treatment.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Professorial BlockQueen Mary HospitalHong KongChina
  2. 2.Department of PathologyQueen Mary HospitalHong KongChina
  3. 3.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyQueen Mary HospitalHong KongChina

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