A randomised trial of therapy for advanced Hodgkin lymphoma

Which drugs are best to treat people with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma?

What was this study about?

Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. About 1500 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year. Many of these people can be cured, even if their cancer is advanced.

In the 1990s, many doctors treated people who had advanced Hodgkin lymphoma with a combination of 4 chemotherapy drugs called ABVD. Other doctors treated people with a combination of 7 or 8 chemotherapy drugs. The LY09 trial aimed to see whether using a combination of 7 or 8 drugs could help to treat people more effectively than the combination of 4 drugs.

What difference did this study make?

There was no evidence of a difference between the ABVD treatment and the 7 or 8 chemotherapy drug combinations in the time patients spent alive and free from recurrence of the disease, which was high in both groups.

Researchers recommended that doctors should continue to use ABVD to treat people with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details

Who funded the study?

This trial was funded with a grant from the charity the Cancer Research Campaign (now Cancer Research UK) and supported by Medical Research Council core funds.

When did it take place?

This trial recruited patients between 1998 and 2001. The first results were published in 2005.

Where did it take place?

Most trial participants were in the UK, but there were also some in Poland and in Russia.

Who was included?

807 people took part in this trial. Half received ABVD (the combination of 4 chemotherapy drugs) and half received the 7/8 drug combination.