MOPP (chemotherapy)

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MOPP is a combination chemotherapy regimen used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. The acronym is derived from the component drugs of the regimen:

  • (M)ustargen (also known as mechlorethamine, chlormethine, mustine, nitrogen mustard, or MSD)
  • (O)ncovin (also known as Vincristine or VCR)
  • (P)rocarbazine (also known as Matulane or Natulan)
  • (P)rednisone (also known as Deltasone or Orasone)

The treatment is usually administered in four week cycles, often for six cycles. MSD and VCR are administered intravenously, while procarbazine and prednisone are pills taken orally. A newer Hodgkin lymphoma treatment is ABVD.

C-MOPP involves switching the nitrogen mustard from mechlorethamine to cyclophosphamide. C-MOPP is thus very similar to COPP, using the same 4 agents and differing at most in dosages and timing.


Drug Dose Mode Days
(M)ustargen 6 mg/m2 IV bolus Days 1 and 8
(O)ncovin 1.4 mg/m2 (max. 2 mg) IV bolus Days 1 and 8
(P)rocarbazine 100 mg/m2 PO qd Days 1-14
(P)rednisone 40 mg/m2 PO qd Days 1-14


MOPP was the first combination chemotherapy brought in that achieved a high success rate. It was developed at the National Cancer Institute in the 1960s by a team that included Vincent DeVita, Jr.

Although no longer the most effective combination, MOPP is still used after relapse or where the patient has certain allergies or lung or heart problems which prevents the use of another regimen.

Side effects[edit]

There is 20% chance of developing a second cancer within 20 years of MOPP treatment. As a result, MOPP is rarely used any more for treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.[1] MOPP has been known to cause alopecia (hair loss) and skin sensitivity (especially to sunlight). Nausea, vomiting, and stomach ache are common, as are chills, constipation, and frequent urination. Permanent sterility is a frequent side effect.

See also[edit]