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FDA Approves Opdivo for Hard-to-Treat Hodgkin Lymphoma

By Hope Cristol Patients with hard-to-treat Hodgkin lymphoma now have a new treatment option. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to Opdivo (nivolumab) for classic Hodgkin lymphoma that has returned or progressed after a specific type of stem cell transplant and post-transplant medicine. Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph system, which is part of the immune system. There are two main types of this disease, but “classic” Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for about 95% of all cases in developed countries. The American Cancer Society estimates about 8,500 new cases of Hodgkin lymphoma will be diagnosed in 2016, with a 5-year survival rate ranging from 90% for stage I to 65% for stage IV. When Hodgkin lymphoma comes back after treatment (relapsed disease) or doesn’t go away after treatment (refractory disease), the next step is often an autologous stem cell transplant. This treatment uses high doses of chemotherapy, followed by reinfusing a patients’ own blood and marrow stem cells back into the body. The anticancer drug Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) may be given to patients post-transplant. Opdivo, an immunotherapy drug, can now be used for Hodgkin lymphoma if these treatments don’t work. In clinical trials that formed the basis of the new approval, 95 patients with relapsed or refractory disease were treated with Opdivo. It was found to shrink tumors in 65% of patients: 58% achieved partial remission and 7% achie...
Source: American Cancer Society :: News and Features - Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: Hodgkin Disease Source Type: news

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