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Ann Oncol. 2002;13 Suppl 1:102-6.

ABVD versus stanford V versus MEC in unfavourable Hodgkin's lymphoma: results of a randomised trial.

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  • 1Ematologia Venice, Italy



Between January 1996 and April 2000, 355 patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease (HD) (stage II bulky disease, III and IV) were enrolled in a prospective, multicentre, randomised trial aimed at comparing the efficacy of two new promising regimens: Stanford V and MEC hybrid. ABVD was chosen as the control arm. Radiotherapy was planned at the end of induction therapy on residual masses or on sites of previous bulky lesions. One hundred and seventeen, 123 and 115 patients were treated with Stanford V, MEC and ABVD, respectively. The records of 275 enrolled patients (89 Stanford V, 88 MEC, 98 ABVD) have been reviewed and are the subject of this report.


After induction therapy a complete response (CR) was observed in 93, 89 and 74% of patients treated with MEC, ABVD and Stanford V, respectively, with a statistically significant difference (P = 0.013) between the arms. After a median follow-up of 24 months, 16 relapses have been recorded among 196 patients who achieved a CR. Relapse rates are 16, 6 and 4% for Stanford V, ABVD and MEC, respectively (P = 0.042). The 3-year survival was 93%, without any significant difference among the arms. However, a significant difference emerged in terms of failure free survival (FFS). Patients treated with Stanford V did the worst compared with those treated with ABVD or MEC (P = 0.001). Toxicity was comparable in the three treatment arms.


For this randomised study, both ABVD and MEC gave superior results to Stanford V in terms of response and FFS; MEC seems to be the best regimen in terms of relapse-free survival, even if a significant difference has not yet been achieved. Notwithstanding the short follow-up, these results seem to be very impressive in defining the best standard treatment for HD for this subset of patients.

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