MOPP or radiation in addition to ABVD in the treatment of pathologically staged advanced Hodgkin's disease in children: results of the Children's Cancer Group Phase III Trial

J Clin Oncol. 1998 Mar;16(3):897-906. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1998.16.3.897.


Purpose: A randomized trial designed to compare mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (MOPP)/doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and daccarbazine (ABVD) (regimen A) with ABVD plus low-dose regional (extended-field) radiation therapy (EF RT) (regimen B) for the treatment of children and adolescents with stages III and IV Hodgkin's disease was conducted by the Children's Cancer Group (CCG-521) from 1986 until 1990.

Patients and methods: One hundred eleven eligible patients were randomized, 57 to regimen A and 54 to regimen B. All patients had pathologically verified stage III or stage IV Hodgkin's disease.

Results: Overall survival (S) is 87% at 4 years and event-free survival (EFS) is 82%. Patients randomized to ABVD plus EF RT have a 4-year EFS of 87% compared with 77% for patients randomized to MOPP/ABVD (P = .09, two-sided). Patients randomized to ABVD plus EF RT have a 4-year S of 90% compared with 84% for patients randomized to MOPP/ABVD (P = .45, two-sided). Significant prognostic factors in multivariate analysis for EFS are stage of disease, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) at diagnosis, liver size at diagnosis, and, among stage III patients, the size of the mediastinal mass at diagnosis. The acute toxicities of treatment are largely hematopoietic in nature, whereas acute pulmonary and cardiac toxicities are modest and not limiting.

Conclusion: The results of this study show that, in advanced-stage Hodgkin's disease in children, equivalent results can be obtained by the addition of either MOPP or low-dose EF RT to the ABVD regimen; whether the addition of either contributes to outcome was not addressed in this study and will require additional testing. It is clear, however, that MOPP chemotherapy can safely be eliminated from front-line combination chemotherapy regimens for advanced Hodgkin's disease in pediatric patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bleomycin / administration & dosage
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dacarbazine / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / drug therapy*
  • Hodgkin Disease / pathology
  • Hodgkin Disease / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mechlorethamine / administration & dosage
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Procarbazine / administration & dosage
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Survival Analysis
  • Vinblastine / administration & dosage
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage


  • Bleomycin
  • Procarbazine
  • Mechlorethamine
  • Vincristine
  • Vinblastine
  • Dacarbazine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Prednisone

Supplementary concepts

  • ABVD protocol
  • MOPP protocol