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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Nov 1;81(3):e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.12.062. Epub 2011 Mar 11.

Low-dose radiotherapy in indolent lymphoma.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.



To assess the response rate, duration of response, and overall survival after low-dose involved-field radiotherapy in patients with recurrent low-grade lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).


Forty-three (24 women, 19 men) consecutive patients with indolent lymphoma or CLL were treated with a total dose of 4 Gy (2 × 2 Gy) using 6- 18-MV photons. The median age was 73 years (range, 39-88). Radiotherapy was given either after (n = 32; 75%) or before (n = 11; 25%) chemotherapy. The median time from diagnosis was 48 months (range, 1-249). The median follow-up period was 20 months (range, 1-56).


The overall response rate was 90%. Twelve patients (28%) had a complete response, 15 (35%) had a partial response, 11 (26%) had stable disease, and 5 (11%) had progressive disease. The median overall survival for patients with a positive response (complete response/partial response/stable disease) was 41 months; for patients with progressive disease it was 6 months (p = 0.001). The median time to in-field progression was 21 months (range, 0-24), and the median time to out-field progression was 8 months (range, 0-40). The 3-year in-field control was 92% in patients with complete response (median was not reached). The median time to in-field progression was 9 months (range, 0.5-24) in patients with partial response and 6 months (range, 0.6-6) in those with stable disease (p < 0.05). Younger age, positive response to radiotherapy, and no previous chemotherapy were the best factors influencing the outcome.


Low-dose involved-field radiotherapy is an effective treatment in the management of patients with recurrent low-grade lymphoma or CLL.

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