-Author name in bold denotes the presenting author
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1153 Efficacy and Safety of Nivolumab and AVD in Early-Stage Unfavorable Hodgkin Lymphoma: Extended Follow-up from the GHSG Phase II Nivahl TrialClinically Relevant Abstract

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 624. Hodgkin Lymphoma and T/NK Cell Lymphoma—Clinical Studies: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Adult, Biological, antibodies, therapy sequence, Diseases, Non-Biological, Hodgkin Lymphoma, Therapies, Combinations, checkpoint inhibitors, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, Lymphoid Malignancies, Study Population, Clinically relevant
Saturday, December 5, 2020, 7:00 AM-3:30 PM

Paul J Bröckelmann, MD1*, Helen Goergen, Dipl.-Math.1*, Ulrich Keller2,3*, Julia Meissner, MD4*, Karolin Trautmann, MD5*, Teresa V Halbsguth, MD6*, Stephanie Sasse, MD1,7*, Martin Sökler, MD8*, Andrea Kerkhoff, MD9*, Stephan Mathas, MD10*, Andreas Hüttmann, MD11, Matthias Bormann, MD12*, Andreas Zimmermann, MD13*, Michael Fuchs14*, Bastian von Tresckow, MD15,16*, Christian Baues, MD17*, Andreas Rosenwald, MD18*, Wolfram Klapper, MD19*, Carsten Kobe, MD20*, Peter Borchmann, MD1 and Andreas Engert, MD21

1German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG) and Department I of Internal Medicine, Center for Integrated Oncology Aachen Bonn Cologne Düsseldorf (CIO ABCD), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
2Department of Medicine III, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
3Hematology, Oncology, and Tumor Immunology (Campus Benjamin Franklin), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
4Department of Internal Medicine V, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
5Technische Universität Dresden, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany
6Department of Medicine II, Hematology/Oncology, Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt/M., Franfkurt, Germany
7Clinic for Hematology and Medical Oncology, University Medicine Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
8Innere Medizin II, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
9Department of Medicine A, University Hospital Muenster, Muenster, Germany
10Hematology, Oncology, and Tumor Immunology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
11Department of Hematology, University Hospital, Essen, NRW, Germany
12Medical Department I, Klinikum Bremen-Mitte, Bremen, Germany
13Department of Hematology/Oncology, University Hospital of Munich, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany
14First department of Internal Medicine / German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG), Cologne, Germany
15German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG) and Department I of Internal Medicine, Center of Integrated Oncology Aachen Bonn Cologne Düsseldorf (CIO ABCD), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
16Clinic for Hematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, West German Cancer Center, University Hospital of Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
17Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University Hospital Cologne, Department of Radiooncology and Cyberknife Center, Cologne, Germany
18Institute of Pathology, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany
19Department of Hematopathology, University of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany
20Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
21Department I of Internal Medicine, Center for Integrated Oncology Aachen Bonn Cologne Düsseldorf, Cologne, Germany


The primary analysis of the investigator-sponsored randomized multicenter phase II GHSG NIVAHL trial showed feasibility and excellent short-term efficacy of anti-PD1 based 1st-line treatment of early-stage unfavorable classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Achieving long-term disease control without excessive treatment-related morbidity is of utmost importance when developing innovative 1st-line cHL therapies. Duration of response and development of persisting immune-related toxicities are of concern in the setting of 1st-line anti-PD1 treatment.


NIVAHL enrolled treatment naïve early-stage unfavorable cHL patients at 28 German centers and individuals were randomized to either receive fully concomitant 4x Nivo-AVD (group A) or sequential 4xnivolumab, followed by 2x Nivo-AVD and 2x AVD (group B). Both groups received consolidative 30Gy IS-RT and the primary endpoint was complete response (CR) rate at end of study treatment. Detailed methods, patient characteristics and the primary endpoint analysis of NIVAHL have been recently published (Bröckelmann PJ et al. JAMA Oncol 2020). Herein we present extended follow-up of the NIVAHL trial to assess efficacy in terms of 2-year progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) as well as safety with regards to long-term toxicities or organ impairment documented during the first year of follow-up after treatment.


A total of 109 patients with cHL confirmed by central pathology review were enrolled between 04/2017 – 10/2018 and followed for a median of 20 and 21 months in groups A (n=55) and B (n=54), respectively, for the present analysis.

All of the 7 patients deemed in partial remission (PR) at end of study treatment (EOT) converted into an ongoing CR after end of study without additional treatment during follow-up. With no relapse and no death observed since the primary analysis, the 2-year PFS estimates are 100% and 98% (95%CI 88-100%) in groups A and B, respectively, and the 2-year OS is 100% in both groups.

With a median observation time for late-toxicities of 14 months after EOT (range 6-26 months) among 103 patients, any potentially treatment-related AE during follow-up was reported in 65% of patients (A: 74%, B: 56%). The highest documented CTCAE grade of late AEs was °I in 33%, °II in 25% and °III in 7% of patients with no °IV-V AEs observed. A total of 54% had at least one late event related to AVD, 47% to nivolumab and 32% to RT, with multiple relations attributable per event. Mean FEV1 and DLCOc did not decrease from baseline (91.1% -> 96.4% and 86.2% -> 83.3%, respectively). Decreased LVEF after EOT was reported in 2/56 patients with available data (4%). After EOT, 18% of patients required medication for adverse events. Corticosteroid ≥ and < 10mg prednisolone equivalent was required in 3% and 2% of patients, respectively, for a toxicity at any time during follow-up. No patient required corticosteroid treatment at last available follow-up.

Most frequent toxicities reported after EOT included fatigue (21%), hypothyroidism (17%), respiratory tract disorders (16%), leukopenia (14%) and nervous system disorders (14%). Hypothyroidism was the event most frequently solely attributed to nivolumab during follow-up. The median time to onset after EOT was 5 months and affected patients nearly exclusively female (15/16 [94%]). After median follow-up of 10 months (range 0-21), hypothyroidism remained unchanged in 10 of 16 affected patients and resolved in 3 patients.


The excellent disease control of concomitant and sequential nivolumab and AVD in early-stage unfavorable cHL is confirmed with the currently available follow-up. Treatment-related toxicities ongoing or emerging during follow-up are predominantly associated with chemo- and/or RT. The most frequent nivolumab-associated late toxicity is hypothyroidism. No patient currently requires chronic corticosteroid treatment.

Disclosures: Bröckelmann: Bristol Myers Squibb: Honoraria, Research Funding; Takeda: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; MSD Sharp & Dohme: Research Funding. Keller: Bristol Myers Squibb: Honoraria, Other: Travel support, Speakers Bureau. Meissner: Celgene: Other: Travel support; Bristol Myers Squibb: Other: Travel support; Takeda: Other: Travel support; Merck Sharp & Dohme: Other: Travel support; Hexal: Other: Travel support. Trautmann: Bristol Myers Squibb: Honoraria. Kerkhoff: BMS: Honoraria. Hüttmann: Celgene: Honoraria, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES (paid by any for-profit health care company); Lead Discovery Center GmbH: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Research Funding; Gilead: Honoraria; University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany: Current Employment; Roche: Other: Travel expenses; Takeda: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES (paid by any for-profit health care company). Zimmermann: Takeda: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel Expenses; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Other: Travel Expenses; MSD: Other: Travel Expenses; Novartis: Other: Travel Expenses. Fuchs: Bristol Myers Squibb: Honoraria, Research Funding; Affimed: Honoraria; Takeda: Honoraria; Amgen: Honoraria; Celgene: Honoraria. von Tresckow: Takeda: Honoraria, Other: Travel support, Research Funding; Novartis: Other: Travel support, Research Funding; Takeda: Honoraria, Other: Travel support, Research Funding; MSD Sharp & Dohme: Honoraria, Research Funding; Roche: Honoraria; Kite/Gilead: Honoraria; Pfizer: Honoraria; Amgen: Honoraria. Borchmann: Takeda: Research Funding; Bristol Myers Squibb: Research Funding. Engert: Bristol Myers Squibb: Honoraria, Research Funding; Affimed Therapeutics: Research Funding; Takeda: Honoraria, Research Funding; MSD Sharp & Dohme: Honoraria; AstraZeneca: Honoraria; Sandoz: Honoraria.

OffLabel Disclosure: Nivolumab 240mg Q2W alone or in combination with AVD for 1st-line treatment of classical Hodgkin lymphoma.

*signifies non-member of ASH