A series of clinical studies by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group have compared the relative effectiveness of single drugs and of multiple drug combinations in the treatment of stage III and IV Hodgkin's disease. Following six-week courses of treatment, vinblastine sulfate was superior to cyclophosphamide, but a combination of vinblastine sulfate (0.2 mg/kg), cyclophosphamide (10 mg/kg), and prednisone (1.0 mg/kg) improved on the results achieved with vinblastine alone. Although an improved complete remission rate (38%) and longer unmaintained remission time (6.2 months) were seen following combination chemotherapy, these results were not accompanied by any increase in average survival time (30 months). Current studies employ a longer duration of initial treatment with a four-drug combination. In addition, nonspecific immune stimulation effect is being studied through use of Calmette-Guerin bacillus given during remission.
Lenhard RE. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Studies. Arch Intern Med. 1973;131(3):418-420. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.00320090108012