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Adult Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Advanced Unfavorable Hodgkin Lymphoma

Drug combinations described in this section include the following:

  • ABVD: doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine.
  • BEACOPP: bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone.
  • CEC: cyclophosphamide, lomustine, vindesine, melphalan, prednisone, epidoxorubicin, vincristine, procarbazine, vinblastine, and bleomycin.
  • COPP/ABVD: cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone/doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine.
  • MOPP: mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone.
  • MOPP alternating with ABVD: mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone alternating with doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine.
  • MOPP/ABV hybrid: mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone/doxorubicin, bleomycin, and vinblastine.
  • Stanford V: doxorubicin, vinblastine, mechlorethamine, etoposide, vincristine, bleomycin, and prednisone.

Patients are designated as having advanced unfavorable Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) if they have clinical stage III or stage IV disease and four or more risk factors on the International Prognostic Index for HL, which corresponds to a freedom-from-progression at worse than 70% at 5 years with combination chemotherapy.[1]

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What Is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is cancer that begins in infection-fighting cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes. These cells are in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and other parts of the body. When you have lymphoma, lymphocytes change and grow out of control. There are two main types of lymphoma: Non-Hodgkin: Most people with lymphoma have this type. Hodgkin Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma each affect a different kind of lymphocyte. Every type of lymphoma grows at a different rate...

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ABVD therapy for 6 to 8 months is as effective as 12 months of MOPP alternating with ABVD, and both are superior to MOPP alone in terms of failure-free survival (FFS) (50% vs. 36% with a 14-year median follow-up; P = .03).[2,3][Level of evidence: 1iiA] The Intergroup trial comparing ABVD with MOPP/ABV hybrid showed equivalent efficacy in FFS and overall survival (OS), but increased toxic effects in the hybrid arm, especially from second malignancies.[4][Level of evidence: 1iiA]

The German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG HD9 trial) randomly assigned 1,201 patients with advanced-stage disease to COPP/ABVD, BEACOPP, or to escalated BEACOPP, with most patients receiving consolidative radiation therapy to sites of initial bulky disease (≥5 cm).[5] The 10-year OS rates from time of treatment were 75% for COPP/ABVD, 80% for BEACOPP, and 86% for escalated BEACOPP (P = .19 for the comparison of COPP/ABVD with BEACOPP, P = .005 for the comparison of BEACOPP with escalated BEACOPP, and P < .001 for the comparison of COPP/ABVD with increased-dose BEACOPP).[5][Level of evidence: 1iiA] The actuarial rate of secondary acute leukemias 10 years after diagnosis of HL was 0.4% for COPP/ABVD, 1.5% for BEACOPP, and 3.0% for escalated BEACOPP (P = .03).

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