Rapid advances have been made in chemotherapy for patients with disseminated Hodgkin's disease. With combination chemotherapy, complete remission rates of 70% have occurred and a substantial proportion of patients with stage IVB disease remain relapse-free at four years. There is evidence that continued treatment with combination chemotherapy (MOPP) during remission will significantly increase the duration of remission and the relapse-free interval following treatment.
Relapses after such chemotherapy occur with a high degree of predictability at pretreatment sites of major tumor involvement. This observation has major therapeutic implications.
New effective agents have been identified and improvements in combination chemotherapy will occur. Remission consolidation with various chemotherapeutic agents, radiation therapy to sites of previous major involvement, and the total duration of treatment in patients entering remission is under study.