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Cancer. 1994 Feb 15;73(4):1264-9.

Continuous infusion ABDIC therapy for relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's disease.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Harper Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.



Patients whose Hodgkin's disease is refractory to standard combination chemotherapy usually have a poor prognosis. These patients are generally considered for bone marrow transplantation if the disease is still sensitive to chemotherapy.


Between May 1988 and January 1992, 19 patients with refractory or relapsed Hodgkin's disease were treated with a regimen of doxorubicin, bleomycin, dacarbazine, lomustine, and prednisone (ABDIC). The ABDIC regimen as modified for continuous infusion by Hagemeister consisted of doxorubicin 25 mg/m2 by continuous infusion daily for 2 days, dacarbazine 200 mg/m2 by continuous infusion daily for 5 days, bleomycin 5 U/m2 intravenously on days 1 and 5, CCNU 40 mg/m2 on day 1, and prednisone 40 mg/m2 daily on days 1-5. Treatment was repeated every 28 days.


At the time of treatment, mean age was 30.5 years (range 19-70), and time to ABDIC from initial diagnosis was 5.6 years (range 1-14). The mean number of prior chemotherapy regimens was 2.7 (range 1-5), and three of the patients had had autologous bone marrow transplantation before ABDIC: All patients had earlier received either mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone or a regimen of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine, and 16 had received both. The mean number of ABDIC cycles was 3.9 (range 2-12). Total response rate was 63%, with 10 patients having partial response and 2 having complete response of 12 and 27 months' duration. Seven patients subsequently underwent bone marrow transplantation; two of these are free of disease at 35 and 41 months. The treatment was well tolerated; major toxicities were nausea and bone marrow suppression.


ABDIC is an active and well tolerated therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's disease, including those previously treated with ABVD. More importantly, perhaps, ABDIC as cytoreductive therapy followed by bone marrow transplantation offers the possibility of long term disease free survival in this heavily pretreated patient population.

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