Abstract P016

Reduced steroid exposure is safe and does not reduce disease control among Hodgkin Lymphoma patients treated with escalated BEACOPP (eBEACOPP)

Background: eBEACOPP is the most effective chemotherapy regimen for younger patients with early unfavourable (EU) and advanced stage (AS) Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), but is burdened with early and late toxicities. The original 14 days of steroids contributes to side effects, including severe osteoarticular events, like avascular bone necrosis (AVN). We have been using eBEACOPP since 2009 for AS and since 2014 also for EU patients. We started reducing the length of steroid treatment to 8-10 days in 2016, primarily to reduce the risk of AVN.

Methods: We analysed outcomes of our patients, focusing on the comparison of EU and AS patients and those receiving full length and shorter steroid courses. Data was obtained retrospectively, from the hospital database.

Results: 162 patients received eBEACOPP as front-line treatment, 130 with AS and 32 with EU HL. Median age was 31 y, range 19-59; 88 (54%) were male. After a median follow-up of 58 mo, 5-y PFS of the whole cohort was 97% and OS 98%. The outcome of EU and AS patients was indistinguishable with a 5-y PFS of 95% vs. 98%, respectively (Fig). Outcome of patients receiving full-length or shorter steroid courses was also indistinguishable, with a 5 y PFS of 98% vs. 95% respectively (Fig). The incidence of AVN was numerically, but statistically insignificantly lower in patients receiving 6 cycles of eBEACOPP with a shorter steroid course (1/42 vs. 4/72, p=0.65). There were no differences in emergency hospital admissions and episodes of febrile neutropenia between the two cohorts.

Conclusion: eBEACOPP provides excellent and durable first line disease control. Our data confirms the findings of GHSG of lack of outcome differences between different prognostic groups if eBEACOPP is used as primary treatment. Reducing the duration of steroid treatment to 8 days per cycle is safe, but longer follow-up and more patients are needed to confirm that it reduces serious acute and chronic toxicities.


Ida Hude Dragičević, Sandra Bašić-Kinda, Dino Dujmović, Ivo Radman, Barbara Dreta, Sandra Dotlić, Lea Galunić-Bilić, Margareta Dobrenić, Marko Kralik, Pavle Rončević, Igor Aurer