Although noninferiority of the strategy of no further treatment after chemotherapy with regard to progression-free survival was not observed, patients with early-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma and negative positron-emission tomography (PET) findings after three cycles of ABVD chemotherapy had a very good prognosis either with or without consolidation radiotherapy, a study published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine has shown.

Because it is unclear whether patients with early-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma and negative findings on PET after three cycles of ABVD require radiotherapy, researchers sought to assess the noninferiority of no further treatment versus involved-field radiotherapy.

Researchers enrolled 602 patients with newly diagnosed stage IA or IIA Hodgkin’s lymphoma who received three cycles of ABVD followed by PET scanning.

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Of those, 420 had negative findings and were randomly assigned 1:1 to the radiotherapy group or no further therapy.

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Results showed that the 3-year progression-free survival rates were 94.6% (95% CI: 86.9-94.8) and 90.8% (95% CI: 86.9-94.8) in the radiotherapy group and no further therapy group, respectively.

The absolute risk difference was -3.8 percentage points (95% CI: -8.8-1.3), which had to be more than 7 percentage points in order for no further treatment to be noninferior to radiotherapy.


  1. Radford J, Illidge T, Counsell N, et al. Results of a trial of PET-directed therapy for early-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma. N Engl J Med. 2015; 372:1598-1607.