A new study published in the American Journal of Hematology Oncology by the Children's Oncology Group demonstrated that the ABVE-PC regimen provided high efficacy and reduced the cumulative doses of chemotherapy and radiation:

"Between 1997 and 2001, 216 eligible patients younger than 22 years with intermediate- or high-risk HL were treated with ABVE-PC. The median time from the beginning of the first cycle to the end of the third cycle was approximately 8.7 weeks, and time to completion of the fifth cycle was approximately 16 weeks. Rapid early response was documented in 63% of patients. Dose densities were greater than those of the most commonly used regimens, but cumulative doses were significantly lower, especially in the rapid responders."

For years, patients have been treated with the standard of care, ie MOPP or ABVD regimens, but while these approaches lead to excellent survival rates, they often result in long-term effects from toxicity, including infertility, second malignancy, and cardiopulmonary toxicity.    Doctors hope to be able to cure the cancer while reducing the risk of long term effects on patients with the new 6 drug combination, although it will take a while before the true effects are known.  

This new approach consists of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vincristine, etoposide, prednisone, and cyclophosphamide and while not a walk in the park, as the first four chemotherapies are fairly toxic themselves, it may represent a potential improvement for children with NHL over existing options.

ResearchBlogging.orgSchwartz, C., Constine, L., Villaluna, D., London, W., Hutchison, R., Sposto, R., Lipshultz, S., Turner, C., deAlarcon, P., & Chauvenet, A. (2009). A risk-adapted, response-based approach using ABVE-PC for children and adolescents with intermediate and high risk Hodgkin lymphoma: the results of P9425 from the Children's Oncology Group Blood DOI: 10.1182/blood-2008-10-184143

Sally Church

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