Medline: 1607915

Journal of Clinical Oncology 10(7): 1086-1094, 1992.

High-dose salvage chemotherapy without bone marrow transplantation for adult patients with refractory Hodgkin's disease.

Tourani JM, Levy R, Colonna P, et al.


For patients with Hodgkin's disease (HD) who do not achieve complete response (CR), who experience a relapse within the first year of CR, and for those who have two or more relapses, the outcome is poor. Salvage chemotherapy regimens at conventional doses produce a CR rate that ranges from 10% to 50% and a 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) between 10% and 25%. On the other hand, high-dose chemotherapy regimens given in combination with bone marrow transplantation (BMT) produce a CR rate that ranges from 40% to 80% and a 3-year DFS of approximately 40%. We report the 5-year results of a prospective study in patients with refractory HD who were treated with three courses of intensive chemotherapy without BMT.

Patients and Methods:
Thirty-nine adult patients with refractory HD were treated with three courses of intensive chemotherapy. Each cycle of chemotherapy comprised vindesine 1 mg/m2/d in continuous intravenous (IV) infusion from day 1 to day 5; Adriamycin (doxorubicin; Roger Bellon Laboratories, Neuilly, France) 40 mg/m2/d in continuous IV infusion from day 1 to day 3; carmustine 140 mg/m2/d at day 3; etoposide 200 mg/m2/d from day 3 to day 5; and methylprednisolone 120 mg/m2/d from day 1 to day 5. After the third cycle of chemotherapy, irradiation (20 Gy) was performed whenever possible and depended on previous irradiation.

At the end of the treatment, 31 patients (79%) were in CR. Among these patients, 10 relapsed after a median time of 3 months. The overall 5-year survival rate was 46%. The freedom from progression (FFP) and the freedom from treatment failure (FFTF) rates were 48% and 43%, respectively. The main toxicities were hematologic (neutropenia and thrombocytopenia) and digestive. Four patients died due to treatment-related complications (two from septic shocks, one from respiratory insufficiency, and one from posttransfusional AIDS).

The results of this study seem to be comparable to those results obtained with high-dose chemotherapies with autologous BMT.

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Dr. G. Quade