In a nutshell
The authors looked at the effect of radiation therapy after autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma. The authors concluded that radiation therapy after autologous stem cell transplantation improved time to disease progression.
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is generally considered a curable disease. However, some patients will not respond well to initial treatment (refractory) or relapse after first line therapy. These patients often must receive second line therapy. One common second line therapy is autologous stem cell transplantation (auto-SCT; using stem cells from the patient’s own body). Some auto-SCT treatments are followed by additional radiation therapy (RT). More research is needed on the effect of RT after auto-SCT.
Methods & findings
The medical records of 80 patients were reviewed. All patients received high-dose chemotherapy followed by auto-SCT. 32 patients received RT after auto-SCT. The average dose of radiation was 30.6 Gy. The average follow up time was 25 months.
The 2-year overall survival (time from treatment to death from any cause) was 96% for all patients. The 2-year progression free survival (time from treatment to disease progression) was 52% for all patients.
The 2-year progression free survival was 67% for patients who received RT and 42% for patients who did not receive RT. The difference was significant. The 2-year overall survival was 100% for patients who received RT and 93% for patients who did not receive RT. The difference was not significant.
The improved progression free survival was seen most in patients with bulky disease, B symptoms (fevers, night sweats, and weight loss), and patients with refractory disease.
Patients treated with RT had only small amounts of negative effects from the radiation.
The bottom line
The study concluded that radiation therapy is a useful treatment for patients after they have received auto-SCT.
The fine print
There was a short follow-up time. Radiation can be associated with negative side effects many years after treatment.
Discuss the risks and benefits of radiation therapy with your doctor.
Published By :
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Sep 01, 2017
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