Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in NEJM: Jul 21, 2011

Premium

In NEJM this week, researchers in Italy present findings from a study comparing the BEACOPP and ABVD treatment regimens for Hodgkin's lymphoma. BEACOPP is a regimen consisting of bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone, and has been advocated as the new standard of care for Hodgkin's lymphoma, instead of the ABVD combination which consists of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine, the team writes. The researchers randomly assigned 331 previously untreated Hodgkin's patients to receive either BEACOPP or ABVD, and then followed up for 61 months. "The seven-year rate of freedom from first progression was 85 percent among patients who had received initial treatment with BEACOPP and 73 percent among those who had received initial treatment with ABVD, and the seven-year rate of event-free survival was 78 percent and 71 percent, respectively," the team writes. "Treatment with BEACOPP, as compared with ABVD, resulted in better initial tumor control, but the long-term clinical outcome did not differ significantly between the two regimens."

In a related editorial in NEJM this week, the BC Cancer Agency's Joseph Connors writes that it has been underappreciated until recently that the best choice of primary chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma is affected by the choice of secondary treatment. With high cure rates now available for limited-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma, the focus has been on reducing the intensity of primary treatment, Connors writes. "Once cure is regularly being attained in the majority of patients and curative secondary treatment is available, the clinically valid comparison is between strategies of overall, not just primary, treatment," he adds. "An apparently more effective initial treatment may be unattractive because of increased toxic effects."

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.