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J Clin Oncol. 1987 Apr;5(4):550-5.

Radiotherapy with curative intent: an option in selected patients relapsing after chemotherapy for advanced Hodgkin's disease.


Thirteen patients who had relapsed or failed to obtain a complete remission after combination chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced Hodgkin's disease were treated with subtotal or total lymphoid irradiation with curative intent. Twelve of the 13 patients achieved a complete response (CR). Five of the 12 CRs subsequently relapsed at 3, 9, 9, 12, and 19 months. One patient died of leukemia 11 months following radiotherapy. The actuarial relapse-free survival at 1 year was 60%, and six patients (50%) remain disease-free with a median follow-up of 34 months (range, 10 to 115 months) following the completion of radiotherapy. Patients who failed to obtain a CR to their initial chemotherapy, whose chemotherapy CR was of short duration, or who relapsed initially in extranodal sites, tended to have a worse outcome with radiotherapy. Patients who had long disease-free intervals after initial chemotherapy or relapsed only in nodal sites tended to do relatively well. Radiation therapy was well tolerated with no major toxicity. Potentially curative radiation therapy should be considered an option in the management of selected patients who relapse following combination chemotherapy for advanced Hodgkin's disease.

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