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Cancer J. 2002 Sep-Oct;8(5):377-83.

Radiotherapy alone for lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's disease.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030-4009, USA.



The purpose of the study was to analyze the results with radiotherapy alone in a select group of asymptomatic adults with nonbulky, early-stage lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's disease.


Between 1963 and 1995, 36 patients with nonbulky stage IA (N = 27) or IIA (N = 9) supradiaphragmatic (N = 27) or subdiaphragmatic (N = 9) lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's disease were treated with radiotherapy alone. Eleven of the patients underwent laparotomy. Limited-field radiotherapy involving only one side of the diaphragm and extended-field radiotherapy encompassing both sides of the diaphragm were used in 28 and 8 cases, respectively. Median dose to involved areas was 40.0 Gy given daily in 20 2.0-Gy fractions. Salvage treatmentconsisted of MOPP (mechlorethamine, vincristine, prednisone, procarbazine), CVPP/ABDIC (cyclophosphamide, vinblastine, procarbazine and prednisone/doxorubicin, bleomycin, dacarbazine, lomustine, and prednisone), or ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) chemotherapy and/or involved-field radiotherapy.


Median follow-up was 8.8 years (range, 3.0-34.4 years). None of the 15 patients with supradiaphragmatic disease who received limited-field radiotherapy to regions that did not include the mediastinal or hilar nodes subsequently experienced relapse there. Only one of 20 patients who received supradiaphragmatic limited-field radiotherapy alone experienced relapse in the paraaortic nodes or spleen. The 5-year relapse-free and overall survival rates for the 20 patients with stage IA lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's disease treated with involved-field or regional radiotherapy were 95% and 100%, respectively. There were no cases of severe or life-threatening cardiac toxicity. No solid tumors have been observed in-field in patients treated with limited-field radiotherapy, even though they have been followed up longer than those treated with extended-field radiotherapy (median follow-up, 11.6 vs 5.5 years); two solid tumors have developed in-field in patients who received extended-field radiotherapy.


Involved-field or regional radiotherapy alone may be adequate in stage IA lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's disease patients. Longer follow-up will help to more clearly define the risks of cardiac toxicity and solid tumors that result from involved-field or regional radiotherapy, which appear to be low based on follow-up to date.

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