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Blood. 2008 Mar 15;111(6):2977-83. Epub 2007 Dec 20.

Ongoing improvement in long-term survival of patients with Hodgkin disease at all ages and recent catch-up of older patients.

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Division of Clinical Epidemiology & Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.


Since the breakthroughs in combination chemotherapy of patients with Hodgkin disease (HD) starting in the 1960s, prognosis of patients has been rising steadily. Trends in long-term survival of patients with HD on the population level should therefore be monitored in an as timely as possible manner. We assessed trends in age specific 5- and 10-year relative survival of patients with HD in the United States from 1980-1984 to 2000-2004 from the 1973-2004 database of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. Period analysis was used to disclose recent developments with minimum delay. Overall, 5-year relative survival steadily increased from 73.5% to 85.2% (+11.7 percentage units), and 10-year relative survival increased from 62.1% to 80.1% (+18.0 percentage units) between 1980-1984 and 2000-2004, according to period analysis. The increase was particularly pronounced for patients aged 45 to 59 years and 60 years and older (increases in 10-year relative survival by 24.8 and 23.3 percentage points, respectively). Nevertheless, a strong age gradient persisted, with 10-year relative survival of 92.7%, 88.7%, 84.9%, 76.2%, and 44.9% in patients aged 15 to 24 years, 25 to 34 years, 35 to 44 years, 45 to 54 years, and 60 years and older, respectively, in 2000-2004. Our period analysis discloses ongoing, major improvement in long-term survival of patients with HD in recent years, particularly among older patients.

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