Cancer 72(1): 207-212, 1993.
Uematsu M, Tarbell NJ, Silver B, et al.
Patients with Hodgkin's disease who have relapses after initial chemotherapy (CT) appear to have a poor prognosis, especially if the duration of the first complete remission (CR) was short. The authors performed a retrospective analysis of patients with Hodgkin's disease whose relapse after combination CT was limited to nodal sites; their aim was to study the prognosis of this selected subgroup of patients.
In 28 patients with Hodgkin's disease who had relapses in nodal sites after combination CT alone, the disease was restaged carefully to rule out simultaneous extranodal recurrences. Then the patients were treated with wide-field, high-dose radiation therapy (RT) with or without additional CT with curative intent between 1971 and 1987 at the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy. Fourteen patients were in first relapse and were treated with combination CT followed by RT. The remaining 14 patients (8 who were in first relapse and 6 who were in second relapse) were treated with RT alone. RT techniques were similar to those recommended for early-stage disease.
The 7-year actuarial freedom from relapse and survival rates for the patients retreated with CT and RT were 93% and 85%, respectively, as compared with 36% and 36% for patients retreated with RT alone. There was a significant difference for freedom from relapse (P = 0.002) and survival (P = 0.03), favoring patients retreated with both CT and RT.
This retrospective study demonstrates that RT combined with second-line CT can result in a high percentage of durable remissions in patients who have relapses primarily in nodal sites after original treatment with combination CT alone. These durable remissions are seen even in patients who have only a brief CR after initial CT.
Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn