Altered BEACOPP should be new standard, says Hodgkin Study Group

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According to findings published in The Lancet, the intense Hodgkin's lymphoma chemotherapy regimen referred to as escalated BEACOPP can and should be reduced from 8 cycles to 6 cycles and as such should be regarded as the standard in care for patients with advanced-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The findings come from the HD15 trial, carried out by the world's most prestigious lymphoma study group, the German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG).

BEACOPP involves seven drugs: bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone. When escalated, it involves higher doses of etoposide, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide.

Because escalated BEACOPP was first developed by GHSG, it is more prominent in Germany. It has also been shown to be excessively toxic, even though it has also shown to be better than ABVD in some scenarios.

The HD15 trial examined newly diagnosed patients with advanced HL and put 8 cycles of BEACOPP plus PET-guided radiotherapy against 6 cycles of escalated BEACOPP plus PET-guided radiotherapy. The latter was better in terms of 'freedom from treatment failure' and had a lower toxicity profile, therefore prompting GHSG to recommend it become the new standard in care.

This new standard only applies to the GHSG; until other oncology guideline groups examine the data, their standards will remain unchanged.

Source: Study Abstract

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