Medline: 9626206

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 16(6): 2070-2079, 1998. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 16(6): 2070-2079, 1998. may be available online for subscribers.

Late effects in long-term survivors of high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

Haddy TB, Adde MA, McCalla J, et al.


To evaluate long-term survivors of high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs) for late effects and to attempt to assess the relative contributions of the primary treatment modalities to these late effects.

Patients and Methods:
Of 103 young survivors followed up for 1 to 20 years, 74 patients were interviewed and underwent various investigations, and an additional 12 patients were interviewed only. Of the 86 patients, 65 had previously suffered from small non-cleaved-cell lymphoma, 16 from lymphoblastic lymphoma, and five from large-cell lymphoma.

Left ventricular dysfunction was identified in eight of 57 (14.0%) patients who had received doxorubicin (DOX) in doses greater than 200 mg/m2, of whom four were symptomatic and four were asymptomatic. A ninth patient required a pacemaker. Of the 86 patients, 23 (26.7%) reported pregnancies, 18 of whom had 30 children. Two of the 86 (2.3%) patients developed second cancers. Other major late effects included posttransfusion viral hepatitis, eight patients; CNS toxicity, two patients; endocrine impairment, 14 patients; vitamin B12 deficiency, two patients; esophageal stricture, one patient; urinary tract problems, two patients; and musculoskeletal defects, three patients. Major late effects occurred in 11 of 21 (52.4%) patients who had received radiation as well as chemotherapy, eight of 22 (36.4%) patients who had surgical resections as well as chemotherapy, and 17 of 74 (23.0%) patients who had received chemotherapy alone.

The predominant major late effects observed were late cardiac toxicity related to DOX therapy and hepatitis C virus infection that presumably resulted from blood product transfusions administered before the introduction of screening for the hepatitis C virus. Fertility was not greatly impaired, and second malignancies were uncommon. No patient had clinically significant impairment of growth. Radiation appeared to increase the likelihood of late effects.

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