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J Clin Oncol. 2003 Sep 15;21(18):3512-9.

Health status and quality of life in patients with early-stage Hodgkin's disease treated on Southwest Oncology Group Study 9133.

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University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Oncol. 2013 Jun 10;31(17):2231-2.



We describe the short and intermediate-term quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes in patients treated on a randomized clinical trial in early-stage Hodgkin's disease (Southwest Oncology Group [SWOG] 9133) comparing subtotal lymphoid irradiation (STLI) with combined-modality treatment (CMT).


Two hundred forty-seven patients participated in the QOL study (SWOG 9208), completing several standardized instruments (Symptom Distress Scale; Cancer Rehabilitation Evaluation System - Short Form; Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey Vitality Scale; and a health perception item), as well as questions about work, marital status, and concerns about having children. This article reports on results from baseline before random assignment, at 6 months, and at 1 and 2 years after random assignment.


Patients receiving CMT experienced significantly greater symptom distress (P = .0001), [corrected] fatigue (P =.0001), [corrected] and poorer QOL (P =.015) at 6 months than the STLI patients, reflecting a shorter time since completion of therapy in the CMT arm. Importantly, patients in the two groups did not differ on any outcomes at the 1-and 2-year assessments. The study cohort at randomization exhibited more fatigue [corrected] than healthy reference populations. Fatigue levels did not exceed baseline estimates by the end of the study. [corrected].


This study demonstrated that patients with early-stage Hodgkin's disease experience a short-term decrease in QOL and an increase in symptoms and fatigue with treatment, which is more severe with CMT; by 1 year, however, CMT and STLI patients report similar outcomes. Fatigue scores for both arms were lower at baseline than scores for the general population and did not return to normal levels 2 years after random assignment. The mechanisms responsible for this lingering problem warrant further investigation.

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