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Pembrolizumab Gets FDA Approval for Hodgkin Lymphoma Indication

Merck’s therapeutic antibody Pembrolizumab, marketed as Keytruda, has won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval as a treatment for refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma. The approval was based on data in 210 patients from the KEYNOTE-087 trial. The clinical trial showed an overall response rate with KEYTRUDA (200 mg every three weeks) of 69 percent (95% […]

Diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

A number of different tests and examinations are usually required to confirm a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), and, if the diagnosis is confirmed, assess how far the disease has spread through your body and determine how well your body systems are working. Depending on your situation, the physician may use some or all of these tests to determine the best way to treat your disease.

Various tests and scans may be performed to help diagnosis, and also determine a patient’s response to treatment. For example, is the tumor still the same, or has it shrunk, become inactive, or completely disappeared.

One or more of the tests and examinations may be performed:

    Examine patient’s medical history,
    Physical examination,
    Biopsy,
    Scans, including PET and CAT scans
    Laboratory tests, including blood tests, bone marrow tests and so on, and/or,
    Molecular Diagnostic Tests.

Diagnosis of Hodgkins Lymphoma

The diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) usually depends on people having abnormal cells, called Reed-Sternberg (R-S) cells, in their blood. Other types of abnormal cell types may be present as well.

However, the presence of R-S cells alone does not necessarily mean that an individual definitely has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

To confirm a diagnosis, the lymphatic tissue that contains Reed-Sternberg cells must also be surrounded by a background of other cells and features that are characteristic of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A pathologist may use immunological tests that look for cell surface markers (antigens) that identify specific cell types in order to help confirm or otherwise a diagnosis for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

HL has been studied more than any other type of Lymphoma. With the many rapid advances in diagnosis and treatment, over 80% of patients with HL can be cured.