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Posted by on Aug 18, 2018 in Hodgkin's lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the occurrence and impact of bone loss in adult patients with lymphoma and leukemia. This study concluded that these patients have significant bone loss compared to the general population. 

Some background

Bone loss is a known consequence of many cancers and their treatments. In healthy adults, bone loss is usually caused by aging. However, cancer cells and anti-cancer therapies can also have negative effects on bone cells. The damage to these cells can lead to bone loss. This means that the bones may become thin and develop holes, which can lead to bone fractures (broken bones). A severe bone loss is called osteoporosis. Bone loss that is less severe is called osteopenia. How often bone loss occurs in adult patients with lymphoma or leukemia remains under investigation.

Methods & findings

This study involved 181 patients with lymphoma or leukemia. There were 46.96% patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), 20.4% with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), 8.84% with Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), 7.73% with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 3.87% with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and 2.76% with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Overall, 65% of patients had bone loss. 27% of all patients had osteoporosis. 38% of all patients had osteopenia (less severe bone loss than osteoporosis). Bone loss was observed in 67% (NHL), 49% (CLL), 88% (HL), 57% (AML), 86% (CML), and 80% (ALL) of patients.

Osteoporosis rates were higher in patients with NHL and HL compared to patients with CLL (35% and 31% vs. 14%). Osteopenia rates were higher in patients with HL than in those with CLL or NHL (56% vs 35% and 32%). Patients with HL experienced bone loss at a shorter time after diagnosis compared to patients with CLL (1.6 years vs. 3.6 years).

More patients with leukemia or lymphoma (20%) had bone loss scores less than –2 (indicating osteopenia or osteoporosis) compared to the healthy adults of similar ages (2.5%).

The bottom line

This study concluded that patients with lymphoma or leukemia have significant bone loss compared to the general population. Patients with NHL and HL had the highest rate of severe bone loss.

The fine print

This was a pilot study. Future studies are needed in order to determine how often patients with lymphomas or leukemia develop fractures due to bone loss.

What’s next?

Talk to your doctor about a bone mass density (BMD) test to determine your risk for bone loss or osteoporosis.

Published By :

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer

Date :

Mar 16, 2018

Original Title :

Bone loss and hematological malignancies in adults: a pilot study.

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