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Semin Hematol. 1999 Jul;36(3):282-9.

Treatment of advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma: standard and experimental approaches.

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  • 1Klinik I der Universität zu Köln, Germany.


The introduction of polychemotherapy and improved radiation techniques has transformed Hodgkin's lymphoma from an incurable disease to a malignancy with one of the highest cure rates. Milestones were the development of the MOPP (mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone) and ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) regimens. Radiotherapy is commonly used, although its precise role has not been defined for patients with advanced-stage disease. More recently, dose-intensified schedules such as Stanford V (doxorubicin, vinblastine, mechlorethamine, vincristine, bleomycin, etoposide, and prednisone) were shown to be effective in this group of patients. In particular, the BEACOPP regimen (bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone), in both standard and escalated doses, has produced impressive results in a randomized three-arm study when compared with COPP (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone)/ABVD. The significantly higher rates of complete remission (CR) and freedom from treatment failure (FFTF) suggest that the new BEACOPP regimen improves efficacy, but definitive conclusions require further years of follow-up evaluation. Interestingly, BEACOPP abrogates the impact of the newly described seven-factor prognostic scoring system that was reported for patients treated with MOPP/ABVD or similar regimens. The prognostic index includes factors such as serum albumin, hemoglobin, male sex, stage IV disease, age more than 45 years, white blood cell count, and lymphocyte count. Whereas patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma have a good prognosis on first diagnosis, those with relapsed or refractory disease face a poor outcome.

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