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      PD-1 Blockade with Nivolumab in Relapsed or Refractory Hodgkin's Lymphoma

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          Abstract

          New England Journal of Medicine, 372(4), 311-319

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          Most cited references 13

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          Integrative analysis reveals selective 9p24.1 amplification, increased PD-1 ligand expression, and further induction via JAK2 in nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma.

          Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) and mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (MLBCL) are lymphoid malignancies with certain shared clinical, histologic, and molecular features. Primary cHLs and MLBCLs include variable numbers of malignant cells within an inflammatory infiltrate, suggesting that these tumors escape immune surveillance. Herein, we integrate high-resolution copy number data with transcriptional profiles and identify the immunoregulatory genes, PD-L1 and PD-L2, as key targets at the 9p24.1 amplification peak in HL and MLBCL cell lines. We extend these findings to laser-capture microdissected primary Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg cells and primary MLBCLs and find that programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) ligand/9p24.1 amplification is restricted to nodular sclerosing HL, the cHL subtype most closely related to MLBCL. Using quantitative immunohistochemical methods, we document the association between 9p24.1 copy number and PD-1 ligand expression in primary tumors. In cHL and MLBCL, the extended 9p24.1 amplification region also included the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) locus. Of note, JAK2 amplification increased protein expression and activity, specifically induced PD-1 ligand transcription and enhanced sensitivity to JAK2 inhibition. Therefore, 9p24.1 amplification is a disease-specific structural alteration that increases both the gene dosage of PD-1 ligands and their induction by JAK2, defining the PD-1 pathway and JAK2 as complementary rational therapeutic targets.
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            Constitutive AP-1 activity and EBV infection induce PD-L1 in Hodgkin lymphomas and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders: implications for targeted therapy.

            Programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a molecule expressed on antigen-presenting cells that engages the PD-1 receptor on T cells and inhibits T-cell receptor signaling. The PD-1 axis can be exploited by tumor cells to dampen host antitumor immune responses and foster tumor cell survival. PD-1 blockade has shown promise in multiple malignancies but should be directed toward patients in whom it will be most effective. In recent studies, we found that the chromosome 9p24.1 amplification increased the gene dosage of PD-L1 and its induction by JAK2 in a subset of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). However, cHLs with normal 9p24.1 copy numbers also expressed detectable PD-L1, prompting analyses of additional PD-L1 regulatory mechanisms. Herein, we utilized immunohistochemical, genomic, and functional analyses to define alternative mechanisms of PD-L1 activation in cHL and additional EBV(+) lymphoproliferative disorders. We identified an AP-1-responsive enhancer in the PD-L1 gene. In cHL Reed-Sternberg cells, which exhibit constitutive AP-1 activation, the PD-L1 enhancer binds AP-1 components and increases PD-L1 promoter activity. In addition, we defined Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection as an alternative mechanism for PD-L1 induction in cHLs with diploid 9p24.1. PD-L1 was also expressed by EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines as a result of latent membrane protein 1-mediated, JAK/STAT-dependent promoter and AP-1-associated enhancer activity. In addition, more than 70% of EBV(+) posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders expressed detectable PD-L1. AP-1 signaling and EBV infection represent alternative mechanisms of PD-L1 induction and extend the spectrum of tumors in which to consider PD-1 blockade.
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              Safety and activity of PD1 blockade by pidilizumab in combination with rituximab in patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma: a single group, open-label, phase 2 trial.

              Endogenous or iatrogenic antitumour immune responses can improve the course of follicular lymphoma, but might be diminished by immune checkpoints in the tumour microenvironment. These checkpoints might include effects of programmed cell death 1 (PD1), a co-inhibitory receptor that impairs T-cell function and is highly expressed on intratumoral T cells. We did this phase 2 trial to investigate the activity of pidilizumab, a humanised anti-PD1 monoclonal antibody, with rituximab in patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma. We did this open-label, non-randomised trial at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX, USA). Adult (≥18 years) patients with rituximab-sensitive follicular lymphoma relapsing after one to four previous therapies were eligible. Pidilizumab was administered at 3 mg/kg intravenously every 4 weeks for four infusions, plus eight optional infusions every 4 weeks for patients with stable disease or better. Starting 17 days after the first infusion of pidilizumab, rituximab was given at 375 mg/m(2) intravenously weekly for 4 weeks. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients who achieved an objective response (complete response plus partial response according to Revised Response Criteria for Malignant Lymphoma). Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00904722. We enrolled 32 patients between Jan 13, 2010, and Jan 20, 2012. Median follow-up was 15.4 months (IQR 10.1-21.0). The combination of pidilizumab and rituximab was well tolerated, with no autoimmune or treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4. The most common adverse events of grade 1 were anaemia (14 patients) and fatigue (13 patients), and the most common adverse event of grade 2 was respiratory infection (five patients). Of the 29 patients evaluable for activity, 19 (66%) achieved an objective response: complete responses were noted in 15 (52%) patients and partial responses in four (14%). The combination of pidilizumab plus rituximab is well tolerated and active in patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma. Our results suggest that immune checkpoint blockade is worthy of further study in follicular lymphoma. National Institutes of Health, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Cure Tech, and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                2015
                22 January 2015
                08 May 2017
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMOA1411087
                4348009
                25482239

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