PET-Directed Therapy With Pembrolizumab and Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Previously Untreated Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03226249
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : July 21, 2017
Last Update Posted : October 25, 2018
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Northwestern University

July 19, 2017
July 21, 2017
October 25, 2018
September 6, 2017
August 1, 2020   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Complete Response (CR) with pembrolizumab treatment alone [ Time Frame: At 10 weeks ]
Assess the percent of patients who achieve a CR to single-agent pembrolizumab induction using Lugano 2014 criteria, as measured at PET#2.
Same as current
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT03226249 on Archive Site
  • Incidence of Adverse Events [ Time Frame: Up to 2 years ]
    To assess safety and tolerability, all adverse events will be summarized in terms of type, grade, timing and attribution to treatment and graded according to the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.03 (NCI-CTCAE version 4.03).
  • Progression Free Survival (PFS) for patients <60 [ Time Frame: Up to 2 years ]
    PFS for patients <60 will be measured.
  • PFS for elderly patients [ Time Frame: Up to 2 years ]
    PFS for elderly patients will be measured.
  • Overall Survival (OS) for patients <60 [ Time Frame: Up to 2 years ]
    OS for patients <60 will be evaluated.
  • OS for elderly patients [ Time Frame: Up to 2 years ]
    OS for elderly patients will be evaluated.
  • FDG uptake [ Time Frame: Up to 4 weeks after last dose of chemotherapy ]
    Evaluate the extent of FDG uptake by assessing PET scans to determine a Deauville score.
Same as current
Not Provided
Not Provided
PET-Directed Therapy With Pembrolizumab and Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Previously Untreated Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
Phase II Study of PET-Directed Frontline Therapy With Pembrolizumab and AVD for Patients With Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
The purpose of this research study is to evaluate a new drug Pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy, for the treatment of newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma. The chemotherapy regimen is called ?AVD? and includes three drugs: adriamycin, vinblastin, dacarbazine. Pembrolizumab is currently FDA approved for the treatment of some patients with melanoma, lung cancer and head and neck cancer, but has not yet been approved for the treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma. The ?AVD? regimen of chemotherapy is currently FDA approved for the treatment of newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma, but has not yet been investigated in combination with pembrolizumab for this disease. For patients who have a new diagnosis of Hodgkn?s Lymphoma, multi-agent chemotherapy is recommended. Also, for patients who do not have a complete response to chemotherapy (meaning there is still evidence of disease on PET scans performed at the end of treatment), radiation is sometimes recommended. Furthermore, the rare patient who relapses after chemotherapy requires treatment with high dose chemotherapy and a transplant.


I. Assess the percent of patients who achieve a complete response (CR) to single-agent pembrolizumab induction, among patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) using Lugano 2014 criteria., as measured at PET #2.


I. Assess the safety and tolerability of pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy in the frontline setting.

II. Determine the three-year progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for patients < 60 with early non-bulky disease, and elderly patients (all stages) treated with pembrolizumab with doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), (bleomycin), vinblastine sulfate, dacarbazine (A[B]VD) in the frontline treatment of patients with cHL.

III. Determine the extent of fludeoxyglucose F-18 (FDG) uptake, using a semi-quantitative approach (e.g., Deauville score), after pembrolizumab induction, and after subsequent chemotherapy.


I. To characterize PD-1 pathway specific expression and correlate with response.

II. To characterize serum biomarkers of immune and inflammatory response during treatment.

III. To characterize levels of soluble PD-L1 related to treatment with pembrolizumab.

IV. To characterize T-lymphocyte subset changes to treatment with pembrolizumab.

V. To investigate the prevalence and clinical correlation of chromosome 9p24.1 alterations for this population.


INITIATION: Patients receive pembrolizumab intravenously (IV) over 30 minutes on day 1. Treatment repeats every 21 days for up to 3 courses in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Patients also undergo FDG-PET/computed tomography (CT) scans before the start of pembrolizumab and after 3 courses.

AVD: Within 21 days after final dose of pembrolizumab, patients receive doxorubicin hydrochloride IV, vinblastine sulfate IV, and dacarbazine IV over 30 minutes on days 1 and 15. Treatment repeats every 28 days for up to 2 courses in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Patients then undergo a final FDG-PET/CT scan on day 117-120 or 26-29 of course 2. Patients with stage I/II disease with a CR continue treatment for up to 2 courses. Patients with stage III/IV disease with a CR or age >= 60 with stage III/IV disease with any response continue treatment for up to 4 courses.

CONSOLIDATION: Patients age >= 60 with stage III/IV disease who received < 6 courses of AVD or patients age >= 60 with DV 4-5 on FDG-PECT/CT scan receive pembrolizumab IV over 30 minutes on day 1. Treatment repeats every 21 days for up to 17 cycles in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed up every 3 months for 2 years.

Phase 2
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
  • Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Lymphocyte-Depleted Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Lymphocyte-Rich Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Mixed Cellularity Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Nodular Sclerosis Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Procedure: Computed Tomography
    Undergo FDG-PET/CT
    Other Names:
    • CAT
    • CAT Scan
    • Computerized Axial Tomography
    • computerized tomography
    • CT
    • CT SCAN
    • tomography
  • Drug: Dacarbazine
    Given IV
    Other Names:
    • 4-(Dimethyltriazeno)imidazole-5-carboxamide
    • 5-(Dimethyltriazeno)imidazole-4-carboxamide
    • Asercit
    • Biocarbazine
    • Dacarbazina
    • Dacarbazina Almirall
    • Dacarbazine - DTIC
    • Dacatic
    • Dakarbazin
    • Deticene
    • Detimedac
    • DIC
    • Dimethyl (triazeno) imidazolecarboxamide
    • Dimethyl Triazeno Imidazol Carboxamide
    • Dimethyl Triazeno Imidazole Carboxamide
    • dimethyl-triazeno-imidazole carboxamide
    • Dimethyl-triazeno-imidazole-carboximide
    • DTIC
    • DTIC-Dome
    • Fauldetic
    • Imidazole Carboxamide
    • Imidazole Carboxamide Dimethyltriazeno
    • WR-139007
  • Drug: Doxorubicin Hydrochloride
    Given IV
    Other Names:
    • 5,12-Naphthacenedione, 10-[(3-amino-2,3,6-trideoxy-alpha-L-lyxo-hexopyranosyl)oxy]-7,8, 9,10-tetrahydro-6,8,11-trihydroxy-8-(hydroxyacetyl)-1-methoxy-, hydrochloride, (8S-cis)- (9CI)
    • ADM
    • Adriacin
    • Adriamycin
    • Adriamycin Hydrochloride
    • Adriamycin PFS
    • Adriamycin RDF
    • Adriamycine
    • Adriblastina
    • Adriblastine
    • Adrimedac
    • Chloridrato de Doxorrubicina
    • DOX
    • Doxolem
    • Doxorubicin.HCl
    • Doxorubin
    • Farmiblastina
    • FI 106
    • FI-106
    • hydroxydaunorubicin
    • Rubex
  • Radiation: Fludeoxyglucose F-18
    Undergo FDG-PET/CT
    Other Names:
    • 18FDG
    • FDG
    • fludeoxyglucose F 18
    • Fludeoxyglucose F18
    • Fluorine-18 2-Fluoro-2-deoxy-D-Glucose
    • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Other: Laboratory Biomarker Analysis
    Correlative studies
  • Biological: Pembrolizumab
    Given IV
    Other Names:
    • Keytruda
    • Lambrolizumab
    • MK-3475
    • SCH 900475
  • Procedure: Positron Emission Tomography
    Undergo FDG-PET/CT
    Other Names:
    • Medical Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography
    • PET
    • PET Scan
    • Positron Emission Tomography Scan
    • Positron-Emission Tomography
    • proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging
  • Drug: Vinblastine Sulfate
    Given IV
    Other Names:
    • 29060 LE
    • 29060-LE
    • Exal
    • Velban
    • Velbe
    • Velsar
Experimental: Treatment (FDG-PET/CT, pembrolizumab, chemotherapy)
See Detailed Description
  • Procedure: Computed Tomography
  • Drug: Dacarbazine
  • Drug: Doxorubicin Hydrochloride
  • Radiation: Fludeoxyglucose F-18
  • Other: Laboratory Biomarker Analysis
  • Biological: Pembrolizumab
  • Procedure: Positron Emission Tomography
  • Drug: Vinblastine Sulfate
Not Provided

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Same as current
September 2020
August 1, 2020   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients must have a histologically confirmed diagnosis of classical Hodgkin lymphoma including nodular sclerosis, mixed cellularity, lymphocytic-rich, and lymphocyte depleted subtypes by the 4th edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of Tumors of Hematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues published in 2008 (nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma [NLPHL] excluded)
  • Patients must have measurable disease by the Lugano criteria
  • Patients must have previously untreated disease (except for one week or less of corticosteroids)
  • Patients must exhibit a/an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0-1
  • Patients may have any stage and any International Prognostic Score (IPS)
  • Patients must have adequate organ and bone marrow function within 14 days prior to registration, as defined below:
  • Leukocytes >= 3,000/mcL
  • Absolute neutrophil count >= 1,500/mcL
  • Platelets >= 100,000/mcl
  • Total bilirubin within normal institutional limits
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)(serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase [SGOT])/alanine aminotransferase (ALT)(serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase [SGPT]) =< 2.5 X institutional upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • Creatinine within normal institutional limits
  • Platelet transfusions are acceptable prior to treatment to achieve the above numbers, however growth factors are not allowed within 14 days of registration
  • Females of child-bearing potential (FOCBP) and males must agree to avoid becoming pregnant, or impregnating a partner, respectively, by complying with any of the approved contraception techniques prior to registration, for the duration of study participation, and for 120 days following completion of therapy; abstinence is acceptable if this is the usual lifestyle and preferred contraception for the subject; should a female patient become pregnant or suspect she is pregnant while participating in this study, she should inform her treating physician immediately

NOTE: A FOCBP is any woman (regardless of sexual orientation, having undergone a tubal ligation, or remaining celibate by choice) who meets the following criteria:

  • Has not undergone a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy
  • Has had menses at any time in the preceding 12 consecutive months (and therefore has not been naturally postmenopausal for > 12 months)

    • FOCBP must have a negative pregnancy test within 7 days prior to registration on study; NOTE: a negative pregnancy test is also required within 3 days prior to first dose of pembrolizumab and therefore may need to be repeated if screening test is more than 3 days prior to first dose
    • Patients must have the ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent prior to registration on study

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients are not eligible who have had prior chemotherapy, targeted small molecule therapy, or radiation therapy within 2 weeks prior to registration or who have not recovered (i.e., =< grade 1 or at baseline) from adverse events due to a previously administered agent

    • NOTE: Subjects with =< grade 2 neuropathy are an exception to this criterion and may qualify for the study
    • NOTE: If subject received major surgery, they must have recovered adequately from the toxicity and/or complications from the intervention prior to starting therapy
  • Patients who have a diagnosis of immunodeficiency or are receiving systemic steroid therapy or any other form of immunosuppressive therapy within 7 days prior to registration are not eligible
  • Patients who have a known history of active TB (bacillus tuberculosis) are not eligible
  • Patients must not have a history of allergic reactions attributed to compounds of similar chemical or biologic composition to pembrolizumab
  • Patients who have an uncontrolled intercurrent illness including, but not limited to any of the following, are not eligible:

    • Symptomatic congestive heart failure
    • Unstable angina pectoris
    • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Patients who have a known additional malignancy that is progressing or requires active treatment are not eligible

    • NOTE: Exceptions include basal cell carcinoma of the skin or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin that has undergone potentially curative therapy or in situ cervical cancer
  • Patients who have known active central nervous system (CNS) metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis are not eligible

    • NOTE: Subjects with previously treated brain metastases may participate provided they are stable (without evidence of progression by imaging for at least four weeks prior to the first dose of trial treatment and any neurologic symptoms have returned to baseline), have no evidence of new or enlarging brain metastases, and are not using steroids for at least 7 days prior to registration; this exception does not include carcinomatous meningitis which is excluded regardless of clinical stability
  • Patients who have active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in the past 2 years are not eligible (i.e. with use of disease modifying agents, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs)

    • NOTE: Replacement therapy (e.g. thyroxine, insulin, or physiologic corticosteroid replacement therapy for adrenal or pituitary insufficiency, etc.) is not considered a form of systemic treatment
  • Patients who have known history of, or any evidence of active, non-infectious pneumonitis are not eligible
  • Patients who have an active infection requiring systemic therapy are not eligible, except for uncomplicated urinary tract infections
  • Patients are not eligible who have a history or current evidence of any condition, therapy, or laboratory abnormality that might confound the results of the trial, interfere with the subject?s participation for the full duration of the trial, or is not in the best interest of the subject to participate, in the opinion of the treating investigator
  • Patients who have known psychiatric or substance abuse disorders that would interfere with cooperation with the requirements of the trial are not eligible
  • Patients may not be pregnant or breastfeeding, or expecting to conceive or father children within the projected duration of the trial, from registration through 120 days after the last dose of trial treatment
  • Patients who have received prior therapy with an anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, or anti-PD-L2 agent are not eligible
  • Patients who have a known history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (HIV 1/2 antibodies) are not eligible
  • Patients who have active hepatitis B (e.g., hepatitis B virus surface antigen [HBsAg] reactive) or hepatitis C (e.g., hepatitis c virus [HCV] ribonucleic acid [RNA] [qualitative] is detected) are not eligible
  • Patients who received a live vaccine within 30 days of planned start of study therapy are not eligible; examples of live vaccines include, but are not limited to, the following: measles, mumps, rubella, varicella/zoster, yellow fever, rabies, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), and typhoid vaccine

    • NOTE: Seasonal influenza vaccines for injection are generally inactivated flu vaccines and are allowed; however intranasal influenza vaccines (e.g., Flu-Mist) are live attenuated vaccines, and are not allowed
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Contact: Study Coordinator (312)695-1301
United States
NU 16H08
NU 16H08 ( Other Identifier: Northwestern University )
P30CA060553 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
NCI-2017-00457 ( Other Identifier: CTRP (Clinical Trial Reporting Program) )
STU00203707 ( Other Identifier: Northwestern University IRB# )
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Not Provided
Northwestern University
Northwestern University
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Principal Investigator: Jane Winter, M.D. Northwestern University
Northwestern University
October 2018

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP