Novel therapies for relapsed/refractory aggressive lymphomas

Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2018 Nov 30;2018(1):75-82. doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2018.1.75.


Most patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma will be cured with initial chemoimmunotherapy; however, most patients with relapsed disease will not be cured and will die as a result of their disease. In these cases, continued treatment with conventional chemotherapy is typically not of benefit and can contribute to significant toxicities and decreased quality of life for patients. Fortunately, a number of therapies are currently available or under investigation for this group of patients, ranging from oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting multiple pathways within the malignant cells to adoptive cellular therapies that harness the patient's immune system to fight disease. Additionally, many agents that are modestly effective as monotherapies can be safely combined with additional novel and conventional therapies to improve response rates and duration. Chimeric antigen receptor T cells are among the most promising group of therapies and provide the potential for cure for patients with relapsed/refractory lymphoma. In this chapter, we will review the currently available novel treatments as well as those still under investigation and discuss the most appropriate approach to patients with relapsed/refractory aggressive lymphoma. We will highlight the challenges associated with these therapies, as well as potential toxicities, and the need for additional clinical trials evaluating combinations and newer treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / immunology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / therapy*
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen*


  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen