A newly developed “robust and inexpensive” prognostic tool, the Childhood Hodgkin International Prognostic Score (CHIPS), may allow better tailoring of therapy at the time of diagnosis for children and adolescents who have intermediate-risk Hodgkin lymphoma.

Researchers in the Children’s Oncology Group first assessed 562 patients receiving uniform standard treatment to identify which risk factors present at diagnosis best predicted response to therapy, and used them to develop the prognostic score. They considered such factors as patient age, the number of involved sites, hemoglobin level, albumin level, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, the presence or absence of a large mediastinal mass, nodal involvement, the total bulk of disease, and the presence or absence of B symptoms (fever, weight loss, and/or night sweats). The final CHIPS prognostic tool included four predictors of poor event-free survival that are easily ascertained at diagnosis: stage IV disease, a large mediastinal mass (one with a tumor to thoracic diameter ratio over 0.33), the presence of fever, and hypoalbuminemia (a level of less than 3.5 g/dL).

The investigators then confirmed the accuracy of that score in a validation cohort of 541 patients from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Israel. All the study participants received four cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vincristine, and etoposide (ABVE) with prednisone and cyclophosphamide (PC), followed by involved-field radiation therapy, said Cindy L. Schwartz, MD, of the division of pediatrics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and her associates.

Patients who had low a CHIPS of 0 or 1 had excellent 4-year event-free survival (93% and 89%, respectively), while patients with a high CHIPS of 2 or 3 had poorer 4-year event-free survival (78% and 69%, respectively). These findings remained consistent across all subgroups of patients, regardless of whether the tumors had nodular sclerosis histology or mixed cellular histology (Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2017 Apr;64[4]).

The study results suggest that patients with CHIPS 2 or 3 could be considered for high-risk Hodgkin lymphoma treatment such as higher-dose cyclophosphamide or the addition of brentuximab vedotin, while those with a CHIPS 0 or 1 could be considered for less aggressive treatment such as foregoing or reducing radiation therapy, Dr. Schwartz and her associates said.

This study was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute to the Children’s Oncology Group. Dr. Schwartz and her associates reported having no relevant financial disclosures.