PD-1 blockade in Hodgkin’s lymphoma: learning new tricks from an old teacher

Pamela Blair Allen*, Leo I. Gordon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Classical Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (cHL) is characterized by genetic reliance on the PD-1 pathway. Rapid accumulation of data describing the role and efficacy of PD-1 and its blockade warrants a focused review. Areas covered: In this article, we will review the unique biologic features that predispose cHL to PD-1 inhibition, current data regarding the safety and efficacy of PD-1 inhibitors in the treatment of cHL, biomarkers of immune response, ongoing clinical trials with PD-1 inhibitors, as well as areas of uncertainty. Expert commentary: The biologic and genetic underpinnings of cHL make it unique among all malignancies in its exquisite sensitivity to PD-1 inhibition. High response rates to single agent PD-1 inhibitors in early phase clinical trials serve as further proof of concept. These data strongly support continued clinical investigation of the evolving role of PD-1 inhibition in classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including the optimal sequence, setting, and combination to best exploit the immunologic properties of this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-949
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Hematology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2 2016


  • PD-1
  • PD-L1
  • PD-L2
  • Pembrolizumab
  • checkpoint inhibitor(s)
  • classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL)
  • nivolumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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