Papers And Originals

MVPP chemotherapy regimen for advanced Hodgkin's disease

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.1.6114.679 (Published 18 March 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:679

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  1. S B Sutcliffe,
  2. P F M Wrigley,
  3. J Peto,
  4. T A Lister,
  5. A G Stansfeld,
  6. J M A Whitehouse,
  7. D Crowther,
  8. J S Malpas

    Abstract

    During January 1968 to December 1972, 133 patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease (HD) were admitted to hospital for combination chemotherapy with mustine, vinblastine, procarbazine, and prednisolone (MVPP regimen). Remission rates were 76% among 49 untreated patients and 90% among 42 patients who had relapsed after radiotherapy. The corresponding five-year survival rates were 65% and 86% respectively. Provided the observed yearly mortality (6%) remains unchanged 75% of patients who had previously received no treatment or irradiation and achieved remission are expected to continue in first remission after five years. Forty-two patients had received prior chemotherapy. They had lower remission and five-year survival rates (40% and 33% respectively), and fewer than half of those achieving remission were still in first remission after five years. There were several reasons for the poor prognosis in this group, including advanced-stage disease (stage IVB), age over 40, and achievement of remission.

    Chemotherapy was administered on an outpatient basis. Haematological toxicity and immediate drug-related side effects were similar to those of other regimens but there was no appreciable neurotoxicity. Most deaths were due to either HD itself or complications of advanced disease. Five malignancies other than HD occurred in patients who had received both single-agent chemotherapy and radiotherapy before MVPP chemotherapy. Two patients developed osteonecrosis of the femoral heads.

    Combination chemotherapy has a profound effect on the prognosis of advanced HD. The MVPP regimen yields results comparable to those of other regimens but with perhaps less toxicity.