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BEACOPP Regimen Effective for Initial Hodgkin's Treatment

BEACOPP regimen initially better than ABVD, but long-term outcomes similar

WEDNESDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (BEACOPP) results in better initial tumor control in Hodgkin's lymphoma than treatment with doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD), but there is no difference in long-term outcome, according to a study published in the July 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Simonetta Viviani, M.D., from the Milan Cancer Institute in Italy, and colleagues compared treatment with BEACOPP and ABVD in 331 patients with previously untreated and unfavorable Hodgkin's lymphoma. Patients reporting residual or progressive disease after the initial therapy were given high-dose salvage treatment. Median follow-up was for 61 months.

The investigators found that the seven-year rate of freedom from first progression was significantly higher for patients treated with BEACOPP compared to ABVD (85 versus 73 percent). The seven-year rate of event-free survival was similar in the two groups (78 for BEACOPP and 71 percent for ABVD). Twenty patients from the BEACOPP group and 45 in the ABVD group were treated with the high-dose salvage therapy. Three of the patients from the BEACOPP group and 15 from the ABVD group who had progressive disease or relapse after initial therapy were still alive and disease-free at the cutoff date. After completion of all treatment, the seven-year rate of freedom from second progression and the seven-year rate of overall survival were not significantly different between the BEACOPP and ABVD groups. Treatment with BEACOPP was associated with more severe adverse events than treatment with ABVD.

"Treatment with BEACOPP, as compared with ABVD, resulted in better initial tumor control, but the long-term clinical outcome did not differ significantly between the two regimens," the authors write.

Study funded by Fondazione Michelangelo.

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