Background: Because of high single-agent activity and modest toxicity, we hypothesized the combination of gemcitabine (G), vinorelbine (V), and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (D) would be an effective salvage therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL).
Patients and methods: A total of 91 patients participated. GVD was administered on days 1 and 8 every 21 days at doses of G 1000 mg/m(2), V 20 mg/m(2), and D 15 mg/m(2) for transplant-naive patients, and G 800 mg/m(2), V 15 mg/m(2), and D 10 mg/m(2) for post-transplant patients.
Results: The dose-limiting toxicity was mucositis for the transplant-naive patients and febrile neutropenia for post-transplant patients. The overall response rate (RR) for all patients was 70% [95% confidence interval (CI) 59.8, 79.7], with 19% complete remissions. The 4-year event-free and overall survival rates in transplant-naive patients treated with GVD followed by autologous transplant were 52% (95% CI 0.34, 0.68) and 70% (95% CI 0.49, 0.84), and in the patients in whom prior transplant failed, these were 10% (95% CI 0.03, 0.22) and 34% (95% CI 0.17, 0.52), respectively.
Conclusions: GVD is a well-tolerated, active regimen for relapsed HL with results similar to those reported for more toxic regimens. High RRs in patients in whom prior transplant failed confirms this regimen's activity even in heavily pretreated patients.