Prospective analysis of clinical characteristics and long-term treatment results of a pediatric cohort with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) treated in a single institution with ABVD and restricted radiotherapy (RT).Patients and Methods:
Between September 2000 and December 2015, 165 new consecutive assessable patients with HL were registered at our institution. Lymphocyte predominant nodular HL was excluded. Low risk (LR) patients were stage I and IIA (no bulky disease, <4 involved ganglionar areas and no lung hilar nodes), high risk (HR) was assigned to stage IV and any other stage with bulky mediastinum. The rest of the cohort was treated as intermediate risk (IR). Chemotherapy for LR and IR patients was 4 and 6 courses of ABVD regimen, respectively. These subsets received Low-dose involved field radiotherapy only in case of partial remission at the end of chemotherapy (21 Gy in initially involved areas, plus 14 Gy boost on residual disease). The HR group was treated with 6 courses of ABVD followed always with 21 Gy involved field radiotherapy if complete remission (CR) was achieved. A boost of 14 Gy was added to residual disease in case of partial remission.Results:
Median age was 10.6 years (range, 2.7 to 17 y). Males: 117 (71%); females: 48 (29%). Eighteen (11%) patients were stage I, 76 (46%) stage II, 35 (21%) stage III, and 35 (21%) stage IV. Forty-nine (30%) patients were assigned to LR, 49 (30%) to IR, and 67 (40%) to HR. Forty-three patients (26%) had “bulky” mediastinum involvement. One hundred thirty (79%) patients achieved CR after chemotherapy and 161 (98%) after RT. Four patients (all HR), did not respond to initial therapy and died of disease. One patient died in first CR due to adenovirus infection on previously therapy-related damaged lungs. Seventeen (10%) patients relapsed and 13 of them remained in second CR after further therapy. Seventy-six (46%) patients could be spared from RT and cured of disease (88% of LR patients and 67% of IR patients). With a median follow-up of 5 years, event free and overall survival were 0.84 (SE: 0.03) and 0.95 (SE: 0.02), respectively. Overall survival according to risk group was 1 for LR, 0.93 for IR, and 0.85 for HR. Acute toxicity and late effects due to therapy were not significant.Conclusions:
The strategy of avoiding RT for LR and IR patients that responded completely to ABVD chemotherapy achieved very good results. For the HR group, the combination of 6 cycles of ABVD and Low-dose involved field radiotherapy was efficacious with similar good results. Nearly half of the patients could be cured without RT.