Combined-modality therapy versus radiotherapy alone for treatment of early-stage Hodgkin's disease: cure balanced against complications.
PURPOSE: The treatment of early-stage Hodgkin's disease (HD) has evolved from radiotherapy alone (RT) to combined-modality therapy (CMT) because of concerns about late adverse effects from high-dose subtotal nodal irradiation (STNI). However, there is little information regarding the long-term results of CMT programs that substantially reduce the dose and extent of radiation. In addition, lowering the total radiation dose may reduce the complication rate without compromising cure. This retrospective study compares the long-term results of STNI with CMT using modestly reduced RT dose in the treatment of early-stage HD. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between 1982 and 2002, 111 patients with stage IA and IIA HD were treated definitively with RT (mean dose, 37.9 Gy); 70 patients were treated with CMT with low-dose involved-field radiotherapy (LDIFRT; mean dose, 25.5 Gy). Median follow-up was 11.7 years for RT patients and 8.1 years for the CMT group. RESULTS: There was a trend toward improved 20-year overall survival with CMT (83% v 70%; P = .405). No second cancers were observed in the CMT group; in the RT group the actuarial frequency of a second cancer was 16% at 20 years. There was no difference in the frequency of cardiac complications (9% v 6%, RT v CMT). CONCLUSION: In this retrospective review, CMT with LDIFRT was effective in curing early-stage HD and was not associated with an increase in second malignancies. For RT alone, a moderate dose seemed to reduce cardiac complications but did not lessen second malignancies compared with higher doses used historically.
Koontz, BF; Kirkpatrick, JP; Clough, RW; Prosnitz, RG; Gockerman, JP; Moore, JO; Prosnitz, LR
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