New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
December 6, 2014
New immunotherapy effective for Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as melanoma

John M. Timmerman, MD (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ‘05-‘10) of University of California, Los Angeles, Gordon J. Freeman, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ‘79-‘81), of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues, reported that an immunotherapy drug called Opdivo/nivolumab, which inhibits the PD-1 pathway, is effective in treatment of relapsed or refractory Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  In a Phase I clinical trial of 23 patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma treated with the drug, the rate of progression-free survival was 86%. The results were presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The US FDA subsequently approved the drug for treatment of metastatic melanoma and also granted it Breakthrough Therapy Designation in relapsed Hodgkin’s lymphoma