China's homegrown drug Sintilimab designed for treating relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma has won international recognition, with its clinical trial research published as the cover paper in the January issue of The Lancet Haematology.
Hodgkin lymphoma is a rare malignant lymphoma that occurs mostly in young people between the ages of 20 and 40. Although the cure rate of early treatment is high, patients have a 20 percent chance of recurrence after their first treatment. Patients with relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma lack effective treatment in China.
Sintilimab, an anti-PD-1 drug, is a kind of checkpoint inhibitor, an emerging anti-cancer therapeutic modality that boosts the immune system to help the body target and kill tumors.
Professor Shi Yuankai from the Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, led the clinical research, which enrolled 96 patients with relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin's lymphoma from 18 hospitals in China.
Results showed that Sintilimab has favorable activity and acceptable toxicity in Chinese patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma, with 80.4 percent of the patients showing an objective response.
Stephen M Ansell from the Division of Hematology at the Mayo Clinic commented that Sintilimab is a "highly effective treatment which potentially improves the outcomes of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma worldwide."
Sintilimab was approved for market authorization by China's National Medical Products Administration in December 2018.
"The approval will bring more treatment options for cancer patients in China," Shi said.