In a nutshell
This study looked at the lung function of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in the first years of remission. It found that these survivors had higher rates of lung damage.
HL is a cancer of the lymph nodes which most often affects children and young adults. HL has good outcomes, and most patients with HL will achieve long-term remission (lack of active cancer).
However, the chemotherapy and radiation used to treat HL can lead to long-term side effects. HL survivors have higher risks of a second cancer, infertility, and heart disease. Lung complications are also a common problem for survivors in middle age. It is not known whether lung damage can be measured in the years shortly after HL patients reach remission.
Methods & findings
This study used records of 75 patients with HL in remission. All survivors had been treated with chemotherapy. 72 received chemotherapy regimens including bleomycin (Blenoxane), which can have the side effect of lung damage. 57 patients also received radiation therapy. All survivors had a pulmonary function test (PFT) between 2 and 6 years following the end of treatment.
17% of survivors could not breathe as much air into the lungs as is typical (obstructive or restrictive impairment). Air was absorbed more slowly than normal from the lungs to the blood for 49% of patients (diffusion impairment). Poor diffusion of air into the lungs was more common for patients who had received radiation treatment which impacted the lungs. This was also more common for female patients. However, 43% of survivors had normal lung functioning.
The bottom line
This study found that lung impairment could be measured in survivors of childhood HL in the years immediately following remission.
The fine print
More studies are needed to determine how lung function following remission influences later lung complications.
Published By :
Leukemia & lymphoma
Jun 10, 2020
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