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Br J Cancer. 1983 Aug;48(2):209-15.

Atopy--a favourable prognostic factor for survival in Hodgkin's disease.


One hundred and forty-eight patients with Hodgkin's disease (HD) were stratified into 4 groups according to atopic status. Group 1 had a personal history of atopy and Group 2 a family history of atopy. In Groups 3 and 4 there was no history of atopy but high serum IgE levels (Group 3) and normal IgE levels (Group 4). Comparison of the survival of these groups by the logrank method showed a significant trend (P = less than 0.0001) where survival was ranked Group 1 greater than 2 greater than 3 greater than 4. Known prognostic factors in HD--age, sex, stage, symptoms and histology--had to be taken into account, since their distribution differed between the atopic groups. In Group I there was more stage IA and IIA disease and less "B" symptoms, in Group 3 more nodular sclerosis histology and more "B" symptoms and in Group 4 more lymphocyte-depleted histology and a higher mean age than expected from their distribution in the combined groups. Adjustment to allow for the variation in each of the other prognostic factors and for a combination of age, symptoms and histology still showed a significant trend of survival on the basis of atopic status. The increased survival of atopic patients suggests that atopic mechanisms or the genetic basis to atopy has a protective effect in HD either directly or by interaction with treatment.

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