Does the Incidence of Treatment-Related Toxicity Plateau After Radiation Therapy: The Long-Term Impact of Integral Dose in Hodgkin's Lymphoma Survivors

Academic Article


  • Background: Conventional radiation therapy (RT) has produced unprecedented cure rates in patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) but exposed large volumes of nontargeted tissue to radiation (integral dose). Objective: Our goal was to report the effects of integral radiation dose on health outcomes in patients with at least 20 years of potential follow-up time. Methods and Materials: We reviewed the medical records of 365 patients who were treated with RT for HL between 1965 and 1995. All patients were confirmed to have received primary RT with curative intent at our institution for de novo HL. Serious adverse events were classified as HL progression or death, grade ≥3 treatment- or staging-related acute or late effects, second malignancies, or cardiovascular events. Results: The minimum potential follow-up time was 20 years, and the actual median follow-up time 22 years (range, <1-49 years) for all patients and 27 years (range, 5-49 years) for surviving patients. The overall survival rates at 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 years were 86%, 76%, 64%, 44%, and 27%, respectively. The observed-to-expected ratio for second malignancy was 3.6 (95% confidence interval, 2.9-4.4). Grade ≥3 cardiovascular events occurred in 31% of all patients (n = 112). At the time of the most recent follow up, serious adverse events occurred in 70% of the entire cohort (n = 256) and 58% (n = 103), 77% (n = 103), and 93% (n = 50) among those with a potential 20, 30, and 40 years of follow up, respectively. Conclusions: With increased survivorship, the long-term impact of the integral radiation dose may result in clinically significant adverse events, which suggests the importance of surveillance and affirms advances in both chemotherapy and RT that minimize the integral dose in future patients with HL.
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    Author List

  • Holtzman AL; Stahl JM; Zhu S; Morris CG; Hoppe BS; Kirwan JE; Mendenhall NP
  • Start Page

  • 699
  • End Page

  • 705
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 4