Pembrolizumab for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma: phase 1b KEYNOTE-013 study

John Kuruvilla, Philippe Armand, Mehdi Hamadani, Justin Kline, Craig H. Moskowitz, David Avigan, Joshua D. Brody, Vincent Ribrag, Alex F. Herrera, Franck Morschhauser, Abraham Kanate, Pier Luigi Zinzani, Jacob Bitran, Herve Ghesquieres, Stephen J. Schuster, Mohammed Farooqui, Patricia Marinello, Nancy L. Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The multicohort phase 1b KEYNOTE-013 study (NCT01953692) evaluated the safety and efficacy of pembrolizumab in patients with relapsed or refractory NHL who were ineligible for or failed hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Patients received pembrolizumab (cohort 4) or pembrolizumab plus lenalidomide (cohort 5). Primary end points were safety and objective response rate (ORR) per IWG 2007 criteria. Cohort 4 included 89 patients. ORR was 22% (19/86; 90% CI 15–31; 10 CR, nine PR); ORRs by disease type were 48% (10/21), 10% (2/20), 12% (5/41), and 50% (2/4), for PMBCL, FL, DLBCL, and ‘other’ NHL, respectively. Toxicity was as predicted. Cohort 5 included 19 patients. ORR was 39% (90% CI 20–61; four CR, three PR). Hematologic toxicities were the most common treatment-related AEs. In conclusion, pembrolizumab following HCT ineligibility/failure confirms prior experience in PMBCL but not with NHL subtypes in this study. Additional analyses in DLBCL may not be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • B-cell lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • PD-L1
  • pembrolizumab


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