How to Approach a Hodgkin Lymphoma Patient With Relapse After Autologous SCT: Allogeneic SCT

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Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a highly curable B-cell lymphoma, and ˜90% of patients who present with early-stage (stage I-II) disease and 70% of patients who present with late-stage disease will be cured with standard frontline treatment. For patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) disease after initial therapy, the standard of care is salvage chemotherapy, followed by autologous transplantation (autoSCT). Although this approach will cure a significant proportion of patients, upto 50% of patients will experience disease progression after autoSCT, and this population has historically had a very poor prognosis. In the past, further salvage chemotherapy, followed by allogeneic transplantation (alloSCT), has been the only option associated with a significant probability of long-term survival, owing to a graft-versus-lymphoma effect. However, this approach has been complicated by high rates of treatment-related morbidity and mortality and a high risk of disease relapse. Furthermore, many patients have been unable to proceed to alloSCT because of disease refractoriness, poor performance status, or the lack of a donor. However, significant therapeutic advances in recent years have greatly expanded the options for patients with post-autoSCT r/r HL. These include the anti-CD30 antibody–drug conjugate brentuximab vedotin and the checkpoint inhibitors nivolumab and pembrolizumab, as well as increasing experience with alternative donor alloSCT, especially from haploidentical donors. In the present review, we discuss the current role of alloSCT in the treatment of HL after autoSCT relapse.

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