Two chemotherapy regimens for treatment of patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease, BCVPP (carmustine, cyclophosphamide, vinblastine, procarbazine, and prednisone) and MOPP (mechlorethamine hydrochloride, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone), were compared in a randomized prospective study. Two hundred ninety-three patients were evaluable in the induction phase of this study. The complete remission rate with BCVPP was 76% (112/147) and with MOPP, 73% (106/146) (p = 0.51). The duration of complete remissions for previously untreated patients given BCVPP was significantly longer than that for previously untreated patients given MOPP (p = 0.02). Although hematologic toxicities were similar, BCVPP caused less gastrointestinal (p = 0.0001) and neurologic toxicity (p = 0.01) than MOPP. Previously untreated patients achieving complete remission with BCVPP survived significantly longer than those receiving MOPP (p = 0.03). As primary induction chemotherapy for advanced Hodgkin's disease, BCVPP is an effective alternative to MOPP, having equal or greater therapeutic benefit with less toxicity.