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.
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 lower in acute leukemias (0% – ALL and 7% – AML) than in CLL and CML (14%). However, osteopenia was more frequent in patients with ALL (80%), CML (71%) and AML (50%) compared to CLL (35%). Also, the time from diagnosis to participation in the study was significantly shorter in patients with AML and ALL (0.2 – 0.6 years) compared to patients with CML and CLL (2.5 – 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.
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.
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
Mar 16, 2018