Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 543–554 | Cite as

Checkpoint Inhibitors Hodgkin Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

  • Bei Hu
  • Ryan Jacobs
  • Nilanjan GhoshEmail author
B-cell NHL, T-cell NHL, and Hodgkin Lymphoma (J Amengual, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on B-cell NHL, T-cell NHL, and Hodgkin Lymphoma


Purpose of the Review

The ligation of PD-1 with PD-L1 activates a critical immune checkpoint leading to T cell dysfunction, exhaustion, and tolerance. Anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibodies can reverse the immune checkpoint, releasing the brake on T cell responses. We provide a comprehensive review of the literature on the activity of checkpoint inhibitors in lymphoma.

Recent Findings

We discuss the latest findings with checkpoint inhibitors in lymphoma and new promising studies incorporating these agents.


Classical Hodgkin lymphoma is very sensitive to PD1/PL1 blockade due to genetic alterations in 9p21.1 leading to the high expression of PDL1. Although majority of NHLs have a much lower sensitivity to PD1/PDL1 blockade, a few subtypes such as primary CNS lymphoma, primary testicular lymphoma, primary mediastinal lymphoma harbor 9p21.1 alterations making them vulnerable to PD1 blockade. EBV-associated lymphomas have a virally mediated increased expression of PDL1 making them sensitive to PD1 blockade.


Immunotherapy Checkpoint blockade Non-Hodgkin lymphoma Hodgkin lymphoma PD-1 PD-L1 Nivolumab Pembrolizumab 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Nilanjan Ghosh reports personal fees from Seattle Genetics, Pharmacyclics, Gilead, Abbvie, Celgene, Juno Therapeutics, outside the submitted work. Ryan Jacobs reports personal fees from Pharmacyclics, Genentech, Astra Zeneca, TG Therapeutics, Gilead, Spectrum and Juno therapeutics. Bei Hu has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hematologic Malignancies and Blood DisordersLevine Cancer Institute, Atrium HealthCharlotteUSA

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