Purpose: Between May 1980 and September 1990, 85 patients with Hodgkin's disease were treated with a regimen designed to increase cure rates while reducing late toxicity.
Patients and methods: Therapy consisted of five cycles of cyclophosphamide, Oncovin (vincristine; Eli Lilly and Co, Indianapolis, IN), and procarbazine (COP), alternated with four cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) and low-dose (20 Gy) regional radiotherapy. Vincristine and cyclophosphamide were administered as tolerated during irradiation and during the 2- to 4-week rest period between radiation volumes. The need for staging laparotomy was defined by clinical presentation.
Results: The median age at diagnosis was 14 years (range, 4 to 20), and 56% of patients were male. The majority (67%) had stage III or IV disease and 68% (19 of 28) of stage II patients had bulky mediastinal disease. Nodular sclerosing histology predominated (67%). Ninety-three percent of patients were alive without disease with a median follow-up of 4.1 years. Abnormalities were detected on chest roentgenograms and/or pulmonary function tests in 58% and 25% of clinically asymptomatic patients who were tested at least 1 year after completion of therapy. The only symptomatic patient had pulmonary fibrosis after treatment with bleomycin (20 U/m2) and mantle (20 Gy)/lung (13 Gy) irradiation, and developed multiple spontaneous pneumothoraces that required cortical stripping. One patient had congestive heart failure 19 months post-treatment, and two had abnormalities on echocardiograms. Thyroid abnormalities occurred in 21 (27%) patients who were assessable for late toxicity. The majority of female patients have had regular menstrual cycles. Six developed ovarian failure, and 10 have had a total of 17 pregnancies. Other than one documented case of oligospermia, information was not available on male fertility.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate excellent disease control for the COP/ABVD regimen, with acceptable toxicity.