Survival in Hodgkin's disease patients--report of 25 years of experience at the Milan Cancer Institute.Eur J Cancer. 2005 May; 41(7):998-1006.EJ
The aim of this study was to assess the long-term therapeutic outcome and risk of treatment-related complications in Hodgkin's disease. From May 1973 to September 1990, four randomised studies have been activated at the Milan Cancer Institute using nitrogen mustard, vincristine, procarbazine and prednisone (MOPP) and doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine (ABVD) regimens, with or without irradiation, involving a total of 811 patients with intermediate and advanced Hodgkin's disease. Overall, ABVD contributed to significantly reduce the relative risk of lymphoma progression and death compared with the MOPP regimen. With a prolonged follow-up, a total of 106 patients (75 of whom were in continuous complete remission after first-line chemotherapy) developed a variety of cancers, resulting in a total risk of 22.2%. Our 25 years of experience re-emphasises that ABVD can cure a high fraction of patients with Hodgkin's disease. However, patients in continuous complete remission, are at a high risk of developing second cancers, especially when the treatment strategy includes extensive irradiation. The main focus of future trials should be on reducing treatment sequelae to improve the quality of life of long-term survivors.