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Radiat Oncol Investig. 1999;7(6):365-73.

Treatment of pediatric Hodgkin's disease with chemotherapy alone or combined modality therapy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Lebanon.


Optimal treatment for Hodgkin's disease during childhood is unknown. We report the treatment outcome of patients with Hodgkin's disease <13 years of age seen at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) between 1980 and 1996. A retrospective review of the medical records of 24 children treated for HD at AUBMC was performed. Treatment consisted of chemotherapy alone (n = 15) or chemotherapy plus involved field radiotherapy (n = 9). Chemotherapy consisted of COPP, ABVD, or alternating cycles of each for a total of 6 to 12 cycles, depending on clinical and radiological response; three patients received MOPP. Five patients in the chemotherapy group had clinical stage (CS) I and II and 10 had CS III disease. In the combined modality group, eight patients had CS I and II and one had CS IV disease. At a median follow-up of 5 years, the event-free survival (EFS) for the combined modality group was 100% and the overall survival (OS) 100%. For the chemotherapy alone group, the EFS was 56% and the OS was 79%. Four patients (27%) in the chemotherapy alone group who had Stage IIIB disease relapsed. Mean time to relapse was 4.3 years. In our experience, six cycles of COPP or (COPP plus ABVD) alone were suboptimal for the treatment of Stage IIIB Hodgkin's disease patients, especially those with involvement of lower abdominal nodes (III2B), extensive pulmonary disease, or mixed cellularity histology. Radiation therapy or additional chemotherapy courses are required for these patients.

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