HOVON 127 BL trial

Chief investigator - Dr Andrew McMillan, University College London
Phase III study comparing R-CODOX-M/R-IVAC versus dose-adjusted EPOCH-R (DA-EPOCH-R) for patients with newly diagnosed high risk Burkitt lymphoma Blood cancer type: Lymphoma/Burkitt lymphoma
Amount awarded: £297,534
Recruitment start date: 01 Jul 2016
Award duration: 5 years

Burkitt lymphoma treatment with chemotherapy is now very successful, but involves prolonged care within the hospital and treatment can cause severe side effects. Researchers want to find new ways to treat Burkitts lymphoma.

A different chemotherapy schedule called DA EPOCH–R appears to work well and has fewer side effects. It comprises the chemotherapies: etoposide, oncovin, cyclophosphamide and hydroxydaunorubicin, and also contains a steroid called prednisolone and the biological drug rituximab. DA EPOCH-R is given as a slow infusion, and may be delivered as an outpatient schedule with frequent hospital visits.

The Dutch HOVON group wish to compare DA EPOCH-R with standard chemotherapy treatment – either R-CODOX-M or R-IVAC. They have started the trial but, as a smaller country, they need the UK to join them to have a better chance of completing the study in a timely manner.

In this UK trial, people with Burkitt lymphoma will receive chemotherapy treatment – either R-CODOX-M/R-IVAC or DA-EPOCH-R.

If the DA EPOCH -R regimen being tested is found to have advantages over the existing standard treatment, then it might become an option for the treatment of Burkitts lymphoma and this would have a real benefit to patients with this disease.

The aims of this study are to:

  • Compare the effectiveness of the two therapy regimens
  • Evaluate the two regimens with respect to toxicity and hospitalisation days

This trial is still in set up, and is due to open towards the end of 2017.