Salvage Therapy

The term 'Salvage therapy' is broadly defined as any therapy that is administered after a first-line therapy has failed. It doesn't matter if the salvage therapy is with chemo, biological agents, radiation, transplantation—the term 'salvage therapy' covers them all, so long as they are therapies administered in the wake of a failed induction therapy.

Therefore, oncologists may recommend salvage radiotherapy, or they may recommend salvage stem cell transplantation, or most commonly, they may recommend salvage chemotherapy, which we'll take a closer look at here, largely in the context of salvage chemotherapy for lymphomas.

Salvage Therapy and Chemotherapy

Salvage therapy is most often used in the context of chemotherapy, namely, when treatment involves administering the patient with a combination chemotherapy regimen that has been established to be effective in the salvage setting. Some regimens have been found to be effective in patients who have never had any chemotherapy treatment, while salvage chemotherapy must take into account the fact that the patient has already had some chemotherapy. The salvage regimen therefore takes into account the previous regimen, as well as the fact that the patient has already been exposed to chemotherapeutic drugs.

Some standard salvage therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma include: ASHAP, BEAM, dexa-BEAM and mini-BEAM, CCNU/CBVD, CCNU/CEVD, PCVP, CAPE/PALE,and CBV.

Some salvage therapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma include: DHAP, ESHAP, RGemOX, EPOCH, and methylprednisolone + rituximab.

Sources

CancerTreatment.net

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Hodgkin's Lymphoma

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