A current focus on the treatment of children and adolescents with Hodgkin's disease is identification of subgroups of patients for whom radiotherapy can be omitted without compromising clinical outcome. We evaluated the feasibility of using adult chemotherapy regimens alone to treat children and adolescents with Hodgkin's disease.Methods
Recruitment inclusion criteria were children and adolescents ≤18 years old who were newly diagnosed as Hodgkin's disease. Chemotherapy comprised four cycles of ABVD, six cycles of ABVD or COPP/ABV and six cycles of BEACOPP/ABVD chemotherapy regimens in the low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups, respectively. Radiotherapy was omitted for patients with low-risk, nonbulky disease who had achieved complete remission after chemotherapy and patients who failed to undergo the scheduled radiotherapy due to various reasons beyond the disease.Results
Seventy-five children and adolescents were recruited, including 28, 24 and 23 patients in the low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups, respectively. With a median follow-up of 48 months, 4-year event-free survival and 4-year overall survival were 77.6% ± 5% and 95.3% ± 3%, respectively, in the whole cohort. The 4-year event-free survival in the low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups were 88.2% ± 6%, 78.1% ± 9% and 66.2% ± 11%, respectively (P = 0.062). Sixteen patients (21.3%) relapsed and four died from tumor progression.Conclusions
Over three-quarters of children and adolescents with Hodgkin's disease achieved long-term event-free survival after receiving chemotherapy alone with adult chemotherapy regimens, and radiotherapy-related toxicity was avoided.