Exceptional Responder to Immunotherapy: A Rare Case of Post- HSCT DLBCL Relapse Responding to Nivolumab

Nivolumab in DLBCL

  • Irappa Madabhavi Department of Medical and Pediatric Oncology, Kerudi Cancer Hospital, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India
  • Sandeep KS Department of Radiotherapy, Kerudi Cancer Hospital, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India
  • Malay Sarkar Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Mitul Modi Department of Pathology, Gujarat Cancer Research Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Government, India
Immunotherapy; Nivolumab; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL); Chemotherapy; Adverse reactions


Immunotherapy is the treatment that either boosts the patient’s immune system or uses human-made versions of the normal parts of the immune system to kill lymphoma cells or slow their growth.

A forty-eight-year-old lady with neck nodes, axillary nodes, weight loss and fever diagnosed to have Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) in December 2009 was treated with 6 cycles of R-CHOP, and her treatment was completed in May 2010. After 2 years in July 2012, the patient developed similar symptoms and received salvage chemotherapy with R-DHAP, and her treatment was completed in January 2013. After one and a half years, in August 2014, the patient again had relapsed DLBCL. She was treated with R-ICE 4-cycles and rendered disease-free following allogeneic HSCT in June 2015. But in December 2016, the patient again developed isolated axillary lymphadenopathy and relapsed DLBCL was confirmed by HPR and IHC. This time, the patient was unwilling to go on chemotherapy, but after counselling about the new drug, Nivolumab, she became convinced, and her treatment was started with 3mg per kg every 2 weeks. After 4 cycles, she had a complete response and is now being treated with the same treatment without any symptoms of the disease or any adverse drug reactions. Nivolumab was well tolerated and exhibited antitumor activity in extensively pretreated patients with relapsed or refractory B- cell lymphomas. Additional studies are ongoing to learn more about the use of Nivolumab in these diseases.


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How to Cite
Madabhavi I, KS S, Sarkar M, Modi M. Exceptional Responder to Immunotherapy: A Rare Case of Post- HSCT DLBCL Relapse Responding to Nivolumab. Int J Hematol Oncol Stem Cell Res. 13(2):68-71.
Case Report(s)