Risk, Cure and Complications in Advanced Hodgkin Disease
Hematology ASH Education Program
Current therapy for Hodgkin disease is aimed at high cure rates and optimal survivorship. Although intensified chemotherapy with the escalated BEACOPP regimen resulted in higher rates of cure and survival compared with COPP/ABVD in the high-profile HD9 randomized controlled trial (RCT), this regimen has not been universally adopted by patients and physicians due to the attendant increased risks of early and late complications. Appropriately, questions emerge as to whether the results of this
... results of this trial should be interpreted as establishing the superiority of BEACOPP over the current standard ABVD therapy, and whether clinical or biologic prognostic factors can better select patients for more intensive treatment. The widespread availability and high predictive accuracy of functional imaging with PET scans has led to promising, prelimi-nary studies assessing early response to therapy with this diagnostic tool. In this review, the characteristics and outcomes of patients treated with ABVD in RCT will be made and compared with COPP/ABVD in HD9; clinical and biologic prognostic factors will be discussed, including PET imaging; and newer strategies targeted at minimizing treatment complications while maximizing cure rates will be discussed. Although enthusiasm for PET imaging is great, the challenges for using this diagnostic tool for risk-adapted therapies are substantial. Importantly, physicians and patients should be aware of these challenges, support the RCT that seek to address them, and carefully weigh risks and benefits for individual patients.