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Study of Pembrolizumab With Bendamustine in 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: NCT04510636
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : August 12, 2020
Last Update Posted : January 4, 2022
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University Health Network, Toronto

Brief Summary:
This is a phase 2 open-label study to test the safety and effectiveness of combining pembrolizumab and bendamustine in patients with relapsed (cancer that has come back or started getting worse) or refractory (cancer that is not responding or has stopped responding to treatment) Hodgkin lymphoma.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma Relapsed Cancer Refractory Cancer Drug: Pembrolizumab Drug: Bendamustine Hydrochloride Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Pembrolizumab and bendamustine will be explored as a safe and effective treatment for these patients.

Although current treatment options are available for patients in the relapsed state, once these therapies fail or are not tolerated, treatment options are quite limited.

Pembrolizumab and bendamustine have both shown activity when used as a single agent as treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma. Their side effect profiles also do not overlap, which makes them ideal to combine, with an intent to increase the amount and duration of complete responses while limiting the toxicities experienced by patients.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 37 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Phase 2 Study Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of Pembrolizumab (KEytruda) in Combination With Bendamustine (TREanda) in Relapsed/Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma
Actual Study Start Date : December 20, 2021
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 1, 2026
Estimated Study Completion Date : June 1, 2026

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Pembrolizumab and Bendamustine

The study drugs will be given in 3 week periods called cycles.

Pembrolizumab is available in powder form or as a liquid for infusion. Pembrolizumab at a dose of 200 mg will be given over 30 minutes, once every cycle for up to 35 cycles (approximately 24 months).

Bendamustine is available in powder form for injection. Bendamustine at a dose of 90 mg/m2 will be given over 60 minutes, on Days 1 and 2 of every cycle for up to 6 cycles.

Drug: Pembrolizumab
Pembrolizumab is a intravenously administered humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2.
Other Name: KEYTRUDA

Drug: Bendamustine Hydrochloride
Bendamustine is a unique alkylating agent with substantial activity in hematologic malignancies.
Other Name: TREANDA

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Overall response rate [ Time Frame: 5 years ]
    Complete response + partial response

  2. Complete response rate as determined by Lugano criteria [ Time Frame: 5 years ]
    Assessed by positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scans

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Incidence of adverse events [ Time Frame: 5 years ]
  2. Overall survival rate [ Time Frame: 5 years ]
  3. Progression-free survival rate [ Time Frame: 5 years ]
  4. Average duration of response [ Time Frame: 5 years ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Be willing and able to provide written informed consent for the trial and adhere to trial procedures.
  • Have histologically confirmed relapsed (disease progression after most recent therapy) or refractory (failure to achieve complete response [CR] or partial response [PR] to most recent therapy) classical Hodgkin Lymphoma).
  • Must have received at least standard first line chemotherapy for classical Hodgkin Lymphoma, containing an anthracycline.
  • Must have failed or declined autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), or not be a candidate for ASCT.
  • May have received prior therapy with pembrolizumab (or an equivalent checkpoint inhibitor or anti-PD-L1 antibody), but not in combination with bendamustine.
  • May have received a prior autologous stem cell transplant but must be at least ≥100 days post-auto-transplant, and all transplant- related adverse events must have resolved to a grade 1 or less, and patients are not on immunosuppression, and meet all other eligibility criteria.
  • Must have measurable or evaluable disease.
  • Must have Eastern Cooperative Group (ECOG) performance status 0-1.
  • Must have an estimated life expectancy of greater than 90 days.
  • Demonstrate adequate organ and bone marrow function.
  • If female of child-bearing potential, must have a negative pregnancy test within 72 hours prior to the first dose of study treatment.
  • All participants must be willing to use adequate contraception for the duration of treatment with study drugs and continue for 120 days after the last dose of study drug.
  • Must be available for treatment, assessment and follow-up.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • There is known severe (≥ Grade 3) hypersensitivity to pembrolizumab or bendamustine.
  • Patient receiving any other investigational agents, or has participated in a study of an investigational agent and has received study therapy or used an investigational device within 4 weeks of the first dose of treatment.
  • Patient is receiving any other, non-investigational, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, small molecule, or biologic agent within 4 weeks of the first dose of treatment, or who has not recovered from adverse events due to a previously administered agent.
  • Patient has had a prior monoclonal antibody within 4 weeks prior to first dose of therapy in the study, or who has not recovered from adverse events due to agents administered more than 4 weeks earlier.
  • Patient has received pembrolizumab, or another anti-PD1, or anti-PD-L1, anti-PD-L2, anti-CD137, anti-CTLA-4, or anti-OX-40 antibody, or any other antibody or drug specifically targeting T-cell co-stimulation or checkpoint pathways, with disease progression whilst on therapy, or within 3 months of completion of this line of therapy, without intervening systemic therapy (including chemotherapy, antibody drug conjugates or other targeted agents).
  • Patient has received prior treatment with bendamustine, either as monotherapy or as part of a combination regimen.
  • Patient has undergone prior allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
  • Patient has another concurrent active malignancy (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer or carcinoma in situ of the cervix that has undergone potentially curative therapy), and must be disease-free and off treatment for > 3 years.
  • Patient has known active central nervous system or meningeal disease.
  • Patients with active or past documented autoimmune disease that has required treatment in the past 2 years.
  • Patient is receiving systemic steroid therapy at a dose of > 10 mg/day of prednisone (or equivalent) for 7 days prior to day 1 of study treatment.
  • Has an uncontrolled co-existing illness, including but not limited to: ongoing or active infection requiring systemic therapy; systemic congestive heart failure Class III or IV by NYHA criteria; unstable angina pectoris or cardiac arrhythmia; in patients status post allogeneic transplantation uncontrolled GVHD.
  • Patient has a history of (non-infectious) pneumonitis that has required steroid treatment, or concurrent active pneumonitis.
  • Patient is pregnant, or nursing, or expecting to conceive or father children within the projected duration of the trial, starting with the screening visit through 120 days after the last dose of pembrolizumab and/or bendamustine.
  • Has a known history of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), active tuberculosis (TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis), or active hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
  • Patient has received a live vaccine within 30 days prior to first dose of study drugs.
  • Patient is eligible for autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplant, unless patient has declined this, therefore rendering themselves ineligible for stem cell transplantation.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT04510636

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Contact: John Kuruvilla, M.D. 416-946-2821

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Canada, Ontario
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Recruiting
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 2M9
Contact: John Kuruvilla, M.D.    416-946-2821      
Principal Investigator: John Kuruvilla, M.D.         
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Health Network, Toronto
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Principal Investigator: John Kuruvilla, M.D. Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
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Responsible Party: University Health Network, Toronto Identifier: NCT04510636    
Other Study ID Numbers: KEsTREL-01
CAPCR 20-5231 ( Other Identifier: University Health Network )
First Posted: August 12, 2020    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 4, 2022
Last Verified: December 2021
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Hodgkin Disease
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Lymphoproliferative Disorders
Lymphatic Diseases
Immunoproliferative Disorders
Immune System Diseases
Bendamustine Hydrochloride
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
Antineoplastic Agents
Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
Alkylating Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action