From September 1976 to June 1982, 201 consecutive patients with stage I (A and B)-IIA Hodgkin's disease were stratified in two groups according to prognostic factors. The F group included 116 patients with favourable presentation: they were staged with laparotomy and treated with subtotal or total nodal radiotherapy alone. The U group included 85 cases with unfavourable presentation who were staged by laparoscopy and treated with 3MOPP (mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone)-radiotherapy-3MOPP. At 10 years the F group showed a freedom from progression (FFP) of 71%, with significant difference between stage I and II (85% vs. 59%; P=0.003) and an overall survival of 84%. The results of the U group were: FFP 83%, overall survival 74%, and the findings were not influenced by stage. FFP in patients with bulky vs. not bulky lymphoma was 70% vs. 87% (P=0.04). No secondary acute non-lymphocytic leukaemia developed among patients treated with radiotherapy and in continuous complete remission, while acute leukaemia occurred in the F group patients who received salvage chemotherapy (4 of 31 cases) and in the U group (3 of 85 cases). Present results confirm the usefulness of radiotherapy alone in favourable pathological stage IA. All other disease stages will require a different strategy that should consist of radiotherapy combined with short-term effective regimens, such as ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine) or VBM (vinblastine, bleomycin and methotrexate) to reduce the incidence of MOPP-associated gonadal dysfunction and leukaemogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research