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J Clin Oncol. 2011 May 10;29(14):1885-92. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2010.32.8427. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

Long-term complications of lymphoma and its treatment.

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  • 1Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


As a result of therapeutic advances, there is a growing population of survivors of both Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). A thorough understanding of the late effects of cancer and its treatment, including the risk of developing a second malignancy and non-neoplastic complications, most notably cardiac disease, is essential for the proper long-term follow-up care of these patients. For HL survivors cured in the past 5 decades, a large body of literature describes a range of long-term effects, many of which are related to extent of treatment. These studies form the basis for many of the follow-up recommendations developed for HL survivors. As HL therapy continues to evolve, however, with an emphasis toward treatment reduction, in particular for early-stage disease, it will be important to rigorously observe this new generation of patients long term to document and quantify late effects associated with modern treatments. Although data on late effects after NHL therapy have recently emerged, the formulation of structured follow-up plans for this heterogeneous group of survivors is challenging, given the highly variable natural history, treatments, and overall prognosis. However, the chemotherapy and radiation therapy approaches for some types of NHL are similar to that for HL; thus, some of the follow-up guidelines for patients with HL may also be transferrable to selected survivors of NHL. Additional work focused on treatment-related complications after NHL will facilitate the development of follow-up programs, as well as treatment refinements to minimize late effects in patients with various types of NHL.

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