What is CHOP?

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CHOP is an acronym expressing a combination chemotherapeutic drug regimen used in the treatment of some cancers.

CHOP consists of the following drugs:

  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Hydroxyldaunorubicin (doxorubicin)
  • Oncovin (vincristine)
  • Prednisone

The CHOP regimen

The CHOP regimen is tailored to each individual patient, but is generally administered according to a 21-day cycle.

On day one of the cycle, the patient receives an intravenous infusion of cyclophosphamide, as well as doxorubicin and vincristine by intravenous push. On days one through five, the patient takes prednisone orally (in pill form).

What is CHOP used for?

The CHOP combination chemotherapy regimen used to be used quite commonly for many different subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma prior to the arrival on the market of the monoclonal antibody rituximab (now, instead of CHOP, B-cell patients tend to receive rituximab plus CHOP, or R-CHOP). However, CHOP may still be used against certain lymphomas such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (small lymphocytic lymphoma), AIDS-related B-cell lymphoma, and anaplastic large T-cell lymphoma (ALK+). It continues to be used against peripheral T-cell lymphomas other than ALTL (ALK+), but the results are not optimal and a more effective treatment for T-cell lymphomas remains an unmet need in the treatment of T-cell lymphomas.

Does CHOP have side effects?

CHOP causes side effects in most patients who receive the regimen, although not in all patients. Typically, a patient receiving CHOP will experience mouth sores, nausea and/or vomiting, significant but temporary hair loss, and possibly some toxicity issues with major organs, like the liver, lungs and heart.

Although R-CHOP is an improvement over CHOP, in the early 1970s, CHOP itself was an improvement over HOP—the same regimen minus the addition of cyclophosphamide. Doctors and researchers are always looking to increase the efficacy of drug regimens in patients while lowering the toxicity and side effects in patients.

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