CLINICAL TRIAL
COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Involved-field radiotherapy is equally effective and less toxic compared with extended-field radiotherapy after four cycles of chemotherapy in patients with early-stage unfavorable Hodgkin's lymphoma: results of the HD8 trial of the German Hodgkin's Lymphoma Study Group.

PURPOSE: To investigate whether radiotherapy can be reduced without loss of efficacy from extended field (EF) to involved field (IF) after four cycles of chemotherapy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between 1993 and 1998, patients with newly diagnosed early-stage unfavorable HD were enrolled onto this multicenter study. Patients were randomly assigned to receive cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (COPP) + doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) for two cycles followed by radiotherapy of 30 Gy EF + 10 Gy to bulky disease (arm A) or 30 Gy IF + 10 Gy to bulky disease (arm B).

RESULTS: Of 1,204 patients randomly assigned to treatment, 1,064 patients were informative and eligible for the arm comparison (532 patients in arm A; 532 patients in arm B). The median observation time was 54 months. Five years after random assignment, the overall survival (OSran) for all eligible patients was 91% and freedom from treatment failure (FFTFran) was 83%. Survival rates at 5 years after start of radiotherapy revealed no differences for arms A and B, respectively, in terms of FFTF (85.8% and 84.2%) and OS at 5 years (90.8% and 92.4%). There also were no differences between arms A and B, respectively, in terms of complete remission (98.5% and 97.2%), progressive disease (0.8% and 1.9%), relapse (6.4% and 7.7%), death (8.1% and 6.4%), and secondary neoplasia (4.5% and 2.8%). In contrast, acute side effects including leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, nausea, gastrointestinal toxicity, and pharyngeal toxicity were more frequent in the EF arm.

CONCLUSION: Radiotherapy volume size reduction from EF to IF after COPP + ABVD chemotherapy for two cycles produces similar results and less toxicity in patients with early-stage unfavorable HD.

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