Pembrolizumab in systemic and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

Julia Dai, Timothy Almazan, Youn Kim, Michael Khodadoust


Suppression of antitumor immunity through programmed death-1 (PD-1) interaction between lymphoma cells and the tumor environment plays a key role in lymphoma cell survival. Pharmacologic disruption of the PD-1 axis using antibodies against PD-1 or its ligands has demonstrated significant antitumor activity in solid tumors with similar evidence emerging in hematologic malignancies. Pembrolizumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor of the PD-1/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) axis, has significant clinical activity in patients with mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sézary syndrome (SS). The promising findings of pembrolizumab in MF and SS warrant further investigation of PD-1 blockade in the treatment of systemic and cutaneous T-cell lymphomas.