A trial looking at VEPEMB chemotherapy for patients over 60 years old with Hodgkin lymphoma (SHIELD study)

Cancer type:

Blood cancers
Hodgkin lymphoma
Lymphoma

Status:

Results

Phase:

Phase 2

This trial was to see if a combination of chemotherapy drugs called VEPEMB worked as well as ABVD chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma.

One of the most common treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma is a combination of chemotherapy called ABVD. This is doxorubicin (Adriamycin), bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine. Because the treatment is very intensive, the side effects can be quite bad. Older people often need to have lower doses of drugs, or sometimes aren’t well enough to have this treatment at all.

Doctors hoped a new combination of drugs called VEPEMB would be as good as ABVD but cause fewer side effects. VEPEMB is a combination of the chemotherapy drugs vinblastine, cyclophosphamide, procarbazine, etoposide, mitoxantrone and bleomycin, and the steroid prednisolone. They hoped it would be better than ABVD for people over 60 years old.
The aims of this trial were to find out

  • More about the side effects of VEPEMB
  • How good VEPEMB was for people over 60 years old with Hodgkin lymphoma

Summary of results

The trial team found that VEPEMB was a satisfactory treatment for people over 60 years old with Hodgkin lymphoma.  

In total 175 people were registered into the SHIELD study

  • 103 were well enough to have VEPEMB
  • 72 were not

Of the 103 people who had VEPEMB

  • 31 had early stage lymphoma
  • 72 had advanced stage lymphoma

For those who had early stage lymphoma, after treatment there was no sign of disease in 74 out of every 100 people (74%). This called a complete response. For those who had advanced stage lymphoma, after treatment there was no sign of disease in 61 out of every 100 people (61%).

After an average follow up of 3 years in those who had early stage lymphoma

  • 81 out of every 100 people (81%) were still alive
  • The lymphoma had not come back in 74 out of every 100 people (74%)

For those who had advanced stage lymphoma

  • 66 out of every 100 people (66%) were still alive
  • The lymphoma had not come back in 58 out of every 100 people (58%)

The most common side effect was a drop in blood cells.

The trial team concluded that people over 60 years old with Hodgkin lymphoma could be treated with VEPEMB.

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Prof Stephen Proctor

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Marrow & Stem Cell Transplant 2000
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
SHIELD Study Group
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUKE/03/020.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 558

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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