Clinical Edge

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Chemo-Alone vs Combo Regimens in Advanced NHL

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk; ePub 2017 Dec 29; Song, et al

Low-dose radiation therapy is linked with improved progression-free survival in patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), according to a study involving 90 individuals. This is the case even in those who experience complete metabolic response after adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine (ABVD). Participants had stage III-IV HL and were treated with either chemotherapy alone (n= 46) or combination therapy (n=44) between 1992 and 2012. Chemo regimen was mainly ABVD or a hybrid of it. Investigators looked at outcomes in those who achieved complete metabolic response. Among the results:

  • 88% of patients receiving combo therapy experienced 5-year progression-free survival, vs 65% of those who were given chemo alone.
  • Overall survival rates were 97% and 78%, respectively.
  • Patients <45 years of age and those receiving combination regimens were more likely to experience improved progression-free survival.
  • Secondary malignancies were similar in both groups.
  • Cardiac events occurred a bit more often in patients receiving combo regimens.


Song E, Torok J, Wu Y, et al. Consolidation radiation therapy for advanced Hodgkin lymphoma in complete metabolic response by PET-CT or gallium. [Published online ahead of print December 29, 2017]. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. doi:10.1016/j.clml.2017.12.007.