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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 May 1;86(1):121-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.12.024. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Low-dose involved-field radiation in the treatment of non-hodgkin lymphoma: predictors of response and treatment failure.

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  • 1Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



To investigate clinical and pathologic factors significant in predicting local response and time to further treatment after low-dose involved-field radiation therapy (LD-IFRT) for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).


Records of NHL patients treated at a single institution between April 2004 and September 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Low-dose involved-field radiation therapy was given as 4 Gy in 2 fractions over 2 consecutive days. Treatment response and disease control were determined by radiographic studies and/or physical examination. A generalized estimating equation model was used to assess the effect of tumor and patient characteristics on disease response. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to assess time to further treatment.


We treated a total of 187 sites in 127 patients with LD-IFRT. Histologies included 66% follicular, 9% chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma, 10% marginal zone, 6% mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), and 8% other. Median follow-up time was 23.4 months (range, 0.03-92.2 months). The complete response, partial response, and overall response rates were 57%, 25%, and 82%, respectively. A CLL histology was associated with a lower response rate (odds ratio 0.2, 95% confidence interval 0.1-0.5, P=.02). Tumor size, site, age at diagnosis, and prior systemic therapy were not associated with response. The median time to first recurrence was 13.6 months. Those with CLL and age ≤ 50 years at diagnosis had a shorter time to further treatment for local failures (hazard ratio [HR] 3.63, P=.01 and HR 5.50, P=.02, respectively). Those with CLL and MCL had a shorter time to further treatment for distant failures (HR 11.1 and 16.3, respectively, P<.0001).


High local response rates were achieved with LD-IFRT across most histologies. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia and MCL histologies and age ≤ 50 years at diagnosis had a shorter time to further treatment after LD-IFRT.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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