Blood cancers

Hodgkin lymphoma treatment gets the local nod

Thursday, 3 Mar 2016


The use of ABVD chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma has been endorsed as a mainline treatment with “excellent prognosis and manageable toxicity” in a new Australian retrospective study.

The multi-centre study looked at 189 patients with previously untreated HL receiving ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) induction, between November 1999 and December 2014.

Authors of the study, published in the Annals of Hematology last month, said that while ABVD had been evaluated in large-scale international phase III studies, it was uncertain whether these results were reproduced outside the context of clinical trials.

“This study aims to assess survival outcomes and toxicity from ABVD, for the first time, in an Australian cohort of HL,” they wrote.

A key finding of the study was the five-year overall survival rates – 93 per cent for patients with early disease and 89 per cent for patients with advanced disease.

Toxicity analysis revealed mild anaemia was the most common toxicity overall, but neutropenia was the most common grade 3-4 toxicity (53 per cent), with similar rates in early and advanced disease.

Of all the patients, 46 per cent received GCSF support, 13 per cent had dose reduction, 11 per cent had a dose delay and 8 per cent had both.

“In conclusion, our study confirms the excellent overall survival and acceptable toxicity of first-line ABVD chemotherapy in patients with HL and is consistent with reports from large phase III studies,” the authors wrote.

Author Dr Eliza Hawkes, medical oncologist at the Austin and Eastern Health and the Olivia Newton John Cancer Centre, said the results were reassuring for clinicians and patients alike.

“We want to know that we’re measuring up on a local level and in a standard population,” she told the limbic. “We very rarely look at our own population.”

She revealed they were pleasantly surprised at the good results when it came to toxicity.

“We were expecting our patients to have done worse,” she said. “With this particular regimen we do worry about toxicity but it was not an issue.”

Dr Hawkes said the study highlighted the importance of looking at clinical research and results and marrying that with local outcomes.

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