Primary systemic treatment of advanced Hodgkin’s disease with EVA (etoposide, vinblastine, doxorubicin): 10-year follow-up
AbstractAbstract Background: The most commonly used regimen for the treatment of advanced Hodgkin’s disease (HD) is ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine). Two of these components, bleomycin and dacarbazine, have defined toxicities such as pulmonary fibrosis and nausea/vomiting, and also uncertain single-drug activity. The EVA regimen (etoposide, vinblastine, doxorubicin) is an attempt to substitute a known active agent, etoposide, for bleomycin and dacarbazine. Patients and methods: A series of 51 patients with advanced HD without prior systemic therapy were treated. The series included 12 stage II patients with bulky (>10 cm) mediastinal tumors, 10 of whom received complementary radiation therapy. The remaining patients received EVA only. Response, duration of response, survival, toxicity and the efficacy of salvage therapy were evaluated in all patients. The median follow-up time was 111 months and permitted an assessment of the long-term effects of treatment and natural history of a cohort of treated patients. Results: EVA achieved a complete response (or clinical complete response) in 48/51 patients (94%). Of these 48 responders, 16 relapsed in a median of 11 months (range 3–48 months). In follow-up, 32/51 patients had no evidence of relapsed HD, although three died from other causes (two from vascular events and one from large cell lymphoma), resulting in progression-free survival for the entire group of 57% at 111 months. Eight of the 16 were alive and free from disease at follow-up at 111 months. In the entire series, only seven patients (14%) died of HD. 37 patients (73%) continued free from disease. There was no pulmonary toxicity. Conclusions: The EVA regimen appears to have an overall survival (OS) outcome comparable to ABVD, but without the lung toxicity. The high salvage rate of second-line therapy, in most instances at conventional dosage, suggests an absence of cross-resistance to alkylating agents in patients treated with EVA.