Background: The prognostic role of bone marrow (BM) involvement in advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma is unclear, particularly for patients receiving intensive first-line treatment. We thus retrospectively examined its impact on early response and progression-free survival (PFS) among individuals receiving escalated bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (eBEACOPP) in the HD18 trial.
Patients and Methods: A total of 424 individuals were suitable for analysis, of which 124 (29%) had BM involvement according to initial positron emission tomography (PET). Patient outcome was measured by PET response after 2×eBEACOPP and five-year PFS rate.
Results: After 2×eBEACOPP, 79 of the BM PET-negative individuals (26%) and 26 of the BM PET-positive patients (21%) were found to be PET-positive (odds ratio [OR] 0.74, P=0.25). The five-year PFS rate was 90.7% in BM PET-negative individuals and 91.8% for BM PET-positive patients (hazard ratio 0.82, P=0.6). In our BM PET-positive subgroup, nine (16%) of the 56 subjects with one or two sites of skeletal uptake were PET-positive after 2×eBEACOPP as compared to 17 (25%) of the 68 individuals showing three or more BM lesions (OR 1.74, P=0.23).
Conclusions: The present analysis demonstrates that BM involvement, irrespective of its extent, does not lead to increased risk for a positive interim PET result or inferior PFS in advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma patients undergoing eBEACOPP treatment. Skeletal lesions cannot therefore be considered as an additional prognostic marker of therapy failure or disease recurrence for individuals receiving intensive first-line treatment.
Conrad-Amadeus Voltin, Stefanie Kreissl, Helen Kaul, Ina Bühnen, Jasmin Mettler, Thomas Pabst, Dennis A. Eichenauer, Michael Fuchs, Volker Diehl, Markus Dietlein, Andreas Engert, Peter Borchmann, Carsten Kobe