Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at chemotherapy for young people with Hodgkin lymphoma (The 18 to 30 study)
This was a trial to see if chemotherapy used to treat children who have Hodgkin lymphoma could also help young adults. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
Doctors usually treat Hodgkin lymphoma with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The most commonly used chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma is called ABVD.
Children diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in some European countries are now treated with another chemotherapy regimen. We know from research that this gives them a better chance of cure than adults who have standard chemotherapy.
In this trial, the researchers wanted to find out if a chemotherapy regimen similar to the one used for children could help young adults with Hodgkin lymphoma more than the standard adult treatment.
The aims of the trial were to
- Find out if chemotherapy adapted from the children’s regimen helped young adults with Hodgkin lymphoma
- Learn more about the side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that the adapted chemotherapy regimen did help young adults with Hodgkin lymphoma.
This was a phase 2 trial. It recruited 47 people between the ages of 18 and 30. Everyone had the adapted chemotherapy regimen followed by radiotherapy if needed. The adapted chemotherapy regimen included
Of the 47 young adults recruited, 45 completed their chemotherapy. One young adult withdrew their consent before starting treatment and another was withdrawn from the trial because they had a severe reaction to one of the drugs.
After an average follow up of 1½ years, the lymphoma had come back in only 4 of the young adults.
The side effects of treatment were
- Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) but was mostly manageable and temporary
- Fever caused by a drop in white blood cells
- Being sick
- Sore mouth
- Tummy (abdominal) pain
- Blood clots
- Bone and joint pain
Death of bone tissuedue to steroids was noted in a few people
The trial team concluded that the results showed that the adapted chemotherapy regimen could help young adults with Hodgkin lymphoma. They think that future trials could compare this regimen (or a similar one) with ABVD as treatment for young adults with Hodgkin lymphoma.
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 (
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.
Dr Kirit Ardeshna
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/08/012.
If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses
Freephone 0808 800 4040