People with advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma may be treated with a strong chemotherapy regimen called eBEACOPP (escalated-dose bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin [also called Adriamycin®], cyclophosphamide, vincristine [also called Oncovin®], procarbazine and prednisone). It is a very effective treatment option but it can cause serious side effects.
A clinical trial published this month has looked at whether a PET scan after two cycles of treatment can be used to adjust the dose of eBEACOPP depending on how well people have responded to treatment – decreasing it for people with a negative PET scan (those who have responded well to treatment) and adding rituximab for people with a positive PET scan (those who have not responded as well to treatment).
Over 1900 people with stage 3 or 4 Hodgkin lymphoma took part in this trial.
The trial found that for people with a negative PET scan after two cycles of eBEACOPP, the number of subsequent treatment cycles could be safely reduced without affecting the response to treatment. People who had fewer treatment cycles had fewer serious side effects.
For people with a positive PET scan after two treatment cycles, adding rituximab to eBEACOPP did not improve outcomes.
The trial investigators concluded that a negative PET scan after two cycles of eBEACOPP allows treatment to be safely reduced without affecting disease control.
For more information on clinical trials and studies, including what they are and how they work, visit Lymphoma TrialsLink. You can also use our searchable database to find a trial or study that might be suitable for you.