Hodgkins Lymphoma - Chemotherapy
It is the treatment that uses drugs to kill malignant cells. Currently, the mainstay of Hodgkins lymphoma chemotherapy is as follows-
► ABVD (abbreviation for Adriamycin,bleomycin,vinblastine and decarbazine) is the most effective treatment for Hodgkins disease. This treatment took shape in Italy in the 1970s and normally takes between 6-8 months to be effective. Longer protocols may sometimes be a necessity.
► Another form of treatment is the newer Stanford V regimen. Although the duration of this treatment is half that of ABVD it involves a more intense chemotherapy regimen and includes radiation therapy as w ell. However, a randomized controlled study conducted proved this treatment to be less effective than the standardized treatments.
Various other regimens of combination cheomotherapy have evolved over the years and resistant disease maybe treated with other combinations -
- MOPP - includes Mechlorethamine, Vincristine, Prednisone, Procarbazine
- MOPP - alternating with ABV and ABVD
- COPP - Cyclophosphamide, Procarbazine, Prednisone
- ChlVPP - Chlorambucil, Vinblastine, Procarbazine, Prednisone
- BEACOPP - Bleomycin, Etoposide, Adriamycin,
Cyclophosphamide, Vincristine, Procarbazine, and Prednisone
All these treatment have some associated morbidity and are not without side-effects. These side-effects may be short-term i.e in the immediate time span of the treatment or in long-term i.e . a few months or years after stopping the treatment.
The short-term side-effects include-
► Drop in cell count
► Fever, nausea
► Skin rashes
► Loss of apetite
The long-term side-effects that result from the treatment with radiation and chemotherapy include-
► Cardiovascular diseases
► Secondary cancers such as:
- Acute leukemias
- Solid tumors
- LymphomasClinical research methodologies are probing the possibility of minimizing chemotherapy dose and duration and the volume of radio-therapy. This is an attempt to minimize treatment complications.