Combined modality treatment for stage I-II non-hodgkin's lymphomas: CVP versus BACOP chemotherapy

Emilio Bajetta, Pinuccia Valagussa, Gianni Bonadonna, Angelo Lattuada, Roberto Buzzoni, Franco Rilke, Alberto Banfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports the 5-year results of a prospective randomized study beginning in 1976 on 177 evaluable patients with pathologic Stage I-IE and II-IIE non-Hodgkin's lymphomas with diffuse histology according to the Rappaport classification. Treatment consisted of either CVP or BACOP chemotherapy (3 cycles) followed by regional radiotherapy (40 to 50 Gy) and further cycles of either combination. In both arms, complete remission at the end of combined treatment was high (CVP 93%, BACOP 98%) regardless of age, stage or bulky disease. At 5 years, the comparative freedom from first progression was 62% for CVP vs 78% for BACOP (p = 0.02), respectively. Clinically relevant differences favoring BACOP chemotherapy were essentially documented in patients with large cell lymphomas (International Working Formulation), those with Stage II having more than three involved anatomical sites, bulky disease and age over 60 years. Recurrence within radiation fields was documented in only 5% of complete responders. Combined treatment was, in general, well tolerated particularly when BACOP was used. In only 2 patients given CVP post radiation cutaneous fibrosis was documented. Second solid tumors were detected in 4 patients. One patient started on CVP died because of brain stem necrosis after 45 Gy. We conclude that in Stage I-II patients with nodal and extranodal diffuse non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, particularly large cell lymphomas, combined modality approach with primary Adriamycin and bleomycin containing regimen, such as BACOP, followed by adjuvant radiotherapy offers high chances of cure with minimal toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1988


  • Combined modality
  • CVP
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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