Purpose Patients who receive combined modality treatment for stage I and II Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) have an excellent outcome. Early response evaluation with positron emission tomography (PET) scan may improve selection of patients who need reduced or more intensive treatments. Methods We performed a randomized trial to evaluate treatment adaptation on the basis of early PET (ePET) after two cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) in previously untreated—according to European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer criteria favorable (F) and unfavorable (U)—stage I and II HL. The standard arm consisted of ABVD followed by involved-node radiotherapy (INRT), regardless of ePET result. In the experimental arm, ePETnegative patients received ABVD only (noninferiority design), whereas ePET-positive patients switched to two cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (BEACOPPesc) and INRT (superiority design). Primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Results Of 1,950 randomly assigned patients, 1,925 received an ePET—361 patients (18.8%) were positive. In ePET-positive patients, 5-year PFS improved from 77.4% for standard ABVD + INRT to 90.6% for intensification to BEACOPPesc + INRT (hazard ratio [HR], 0.42; 95% CI, 0.23 to 0.74; P = .002). In ePET-negative patients, 5-year PFS rates in the F group were 99.0% versus 87.1% (HR, 15.8; 95% CI, 3.8 to 66.1) in favor of ABVD + INRT; the U group, 92.1% versus 89.6% (HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 0.8 to 2.5) in favor of ABVD + INRT. For both F and U groups, noninferiority of ABVD only compared with combined modality treatment could not be demonstrated. Conclusion In stage I and II HL, PET response after two cycles of ABVD allows for early treatment adaptation. When ePET is positive after two cycles of ABVD, switching to BEACOPPesc + INRT significantly improved 5-year PFS. In ePET-negative patients, noninferiority of ABVD only could not be demonstrated: risk of relapse is increased when INRT is omitted, especially in patients in the F group.

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