Health Discoveries in Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Reduced chemotherapy and radiation works for Hodgkin's

October 27, 2010
Reduced chemotherapy and radiation was found to work as well as higher levels of treatment for early-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma in a German study, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Nearly 1,400 patients who participated in the study were given varying amounts of the treatments. After five years, 91 percent of those who received the weakest amount of therapy did not have a relapse, compared to 93 percent of those receiving the strongest amount of therapy. However, the researchers acknowledged that the difference in outcomes could be as high as 6 percent.

"There is more toxicity with the more intensive treatment, and there is less toxicity with the less intensive treatment," said Dr. Andreas Engert, a professor at the University Hospital of Cologne. "Even the weakest combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy was as good as the strongest treatment combination in terms of tumor control."

About 8,500 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma annually in the U.S. The disease, which begins in cells within the immune system, is considered very treatable when detected early.

The North Shore-LIJ Health System's Cancer Institute has a hematologic malignancy service that focuses on Hodgkin's Disease and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, as well as leukemia, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome.
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