In a nutshell
This study examined if radiotherapy (RT) would benefit patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) with small tumors following chemotherapy. The authors found that RT may increase patients’ survival without worsening of HL, although this may also increase side effects.
Treatment options for patients with advanced (stage III or IV) HL are continuously being updated. Many patients are offered chemotherapy and PET scans are used to assess how effective the treatment is. If patients still have obvious signs of cancer, they may be offered RT if the tumors are large (2.5 cm or larger). It is unclear if RT would be beneficial for patients with smaller tumors.
Methods & findings
Data from 49 patients that completed chemotherapy and still had HL tumors, as identified by PET scanning, were analyzed. Patients’ data were available for an average of 71 months following treatment. This data was used to predict, using mathematical programs, how suitable RT would be for these patients.
2 years following the last PET scan, 30.6% of patients had survived without HL worsening. It was estimated that between 50.2% and 58.1% of patients could survive without cancer worsening following RT treatment at 2 years.
Estimations suggest that RT could improve patients’ chances of survival without cancer worsening by up to 38-42%.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that RT could increase the survival of patients with HL following poor success with chemotherapy.
The fine print
This study would benefit from including more patients. This study was completed using mathematical estimations and may not accurately reflect real results. Side effects could not be investigated using this approach but may influence a patient’s ability to complete RT treatment, and therefore success.
Published By :
Leukemia & lymphoma
May 26, 2020
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