High-Risk, Advanced-Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma: The Impact of Combined Escalated BEACOPP and ABVD Treatment in Patients Who Rapidly Achieve Metabolic Complete Remission on Interim FDG-PET/CT Scan

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The escalated BEACOPP (escBEACOPP) regimen improves the outcome of patients with advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) but is associated with cumbersome toxicity. We analyzed the survival outcome of high-risk, advanced-stage HL patients treated with response-adapted therapy. escBEACOPP was administered for 2 cycles, and after complete remission (CR) or partial remission (PR) was observed on FDG-PET/CT, treatment was de-escalated to 4 cycles of ABVD. Sixty-nine patients were evaluated, of them 45 participated in the multicenter, phase II prospective study between 2001 and 2007. Sixty patients had an international prognostic score ≥3. At a median follow-up of 5.6 years, 4 patients had died, 2 of them due to advanced HL. After the initial 2 cycles of escBEACOPP, 52 (75%) patients were in CR and 17 (25%) had a PR. Progression-free survival and overall survival (OS) were 79 and 93%, respectively. OS was predicted from the results of early-interim FDG-PET/CT: 98% of the patients in CR and 79% of those with a PR (p = 0.015). Hematological toxicity was more frequent during the first 2 cycles of escBEACOPP than in the ABVD phase. In conclusion, this retrospective analysis indicates that combined escBEACOPP-ABVD therapy is well tolerated and efficacious in HL patients who achieve negative early-interim PET results, while a positive PET result partially identified those with a worse prognosis.

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