Background: In 1997, the Intergruppo Italiano Linfomi started a randomized trial to evaluate, in unfavorable stage IA and IIA Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) patients, the efficacy and toxicity of the low toxic epirubicin, vinblastine and etoposide (EVE) regimen followed by involved field radiotherapy in comparison to the gold standard doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine (ABVD) regimen followed by the same radiotherapy program. Patients and methods: Patients should be younger than 65 years with unfavorable stage IA and IIA HL (i.e. stage IA or IIA with bulky disease and/or subdiaphragmatic disease, erythrocyte sedimentation rate higher than 40, extranodal (E) involvement, hilar involvement and more than three involved lymph node areas). Results: Ninety-two patients were allocated to the ABVD arm and 89 to the EVE arm. Complete remission (CR) rates at the end of treatment program [chemotherapy (CT) + RT] were 93% and 92% for ABVD and EVE arms, respectively (P = NS). The 5-year relapse-free survival (RFS) rate was 95% for ABVD and 78% for EVE (P <0.05). As a consequence of the different relapse rate, the 5-year failure-free survival (FFS) rate was significantly better for ABVD (90%) than for EVE (73%) arm (P <0.05). No differences in terms of overall survival (OS) were observed for the two study arms. Conclusions: In unfavorable stage IA and IIA HL patients, no differences were observed between ABVD and EVE arms in terms of CR rate and OS. EVE CT, however, was significantly worse than ABVD in terms of RFS and FFS and cannot be recommended as intial treatment for HL.
- Early stage unfavorable Hodgkin lymphoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research