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Transfus Apher Sci. 2007 Aug;37(1):37-41. Epub 2007 Aug 21.

Will BEACOPP be the standard for high risk Hodgkin lymphoma patients in advanced stages?

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  • 1University of Cologne, Joseph-Stelzmann Strasse 9, 50924, Koln, Germany. v.diehl@uni-koeln.de


Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) has become one of the most curable cancers, even in adulthood, through continuous improvement of therapeutic options and their verification by large multicenter trials. Today more than 95% of patients with HL in early stages and in advanced stages 85-90% can be cured. Nevertheless, these good results are threatened by treatment associated toxicities such as infertility, cardiopulmonary toxicity and secondary malignancies. It is therefore the aim of future trial generations both to maintain the excellent treatment results and to minimize late effects. In 1964 for the first time deVita et al. described the MOPP polychempotherapy for patients with advanced HL which led to cure rates in more than 50%. Around ten years later Bonadonna et al. established the non cross resistant alternative regime to MOPP, ABVD which nowadays is accepted as "gold standard" for the treatment of advanced HL. MOPP and/or ABVD and furthermore the alternating MOPP/ABVD or the MOPP/ABV hybrid with and without the help of consolidative radiation resulted in around 70% long term survival rates, 30-40% of patients experienced tumor progression or relapses within 5 years. This led the German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG) [Diehl V, Franklin J, Pfreundschuh M, Lathan B, Paulus U, Hasenclever D, et al. Standard and increased-dose BEACOPP chemotherapy compared with COPP-ABVD for advanced Hodgkin's disease. N Engl J Med 2003; 348: 2386-95] to improve the efficacy of COPP/ABVD by time- and dose-intensification, omission of Velban and Dacarbazin and adding Etoposide resulting in the BEACOPP principle. From the initial pilot studies in 1992 three trial generations, HD9, HD12, HD15, have now established this principle as one of the most effective chemotherapy regimen in advanced HL. We certainly hope that it will not last another 20 years to establish the BEACOPP regimen as an attractive curative treatment option for at least the high risk cohorts of HL.

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