Recent data presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 56th Annual Meeting has shown that consolidated radiation therapy (RT) can improve 10-year survival rates for patients with stage I/II Hodgkin’s lymphoma following treatment with chemotherapy.
The study authors analyzed the National Cancer Database, selecting 41,502 patients with an average age of 37 who were diagnosed with stage I and II Hodgkin’s lymphoma between 1998 and 2011 and had either received multi-agent chemotherapy (96%) or RT at a median dose of 30.6 Gy (49%).
“Multiple prospective, randomized trials have shown a significant improvement in disease control with the addition of RT, however previous trials were limited by low patient numbers and limited follow-up and thus, were unable to demonstrate an overall survival benefit. This is the largest dataset in this patient population to demonstrate a survival benefit with the addition of RT,” lead study author Rahul R. Parikh, MD, a radiation oncologist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel and an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in an ASTRO press release.
The results demonstrated that the overall survival (OS) rate for patients who had received radiation therapy was 84.4% compared with 76.4% for those who received chemotherapy.
Furthermore, if patients did not receive radiation therapy, the probability of additional transplant procedures was significantly higher.
The researchers also found that chemotherapy initiated within 30 days after diagnosis was associated with improved OS and that RT use was more common among patients younger that 40 years of age, who had a higher socioeconomic status, access to health insurance, and who received treatment at comprehensive cancer centers.
“Given that the utilization of RT was associated with younger age, insurance status, higher socioeconomic status, and treatment at comprehensive cancer centers, we have highlighted ongoing disparities in Hodgkin’s Disease treatment and it is important that we recognize these findings as potential barriers to care. Given the survival benefit demonstrated in this study, radiotherapy should be included in the combined modality approach of multi-agent chemotherapy followed by consolidation RT in order to maintain high overall survival rates for this curable disease,” Dr. Parikh added in the press release.
Even though the use of RT for patients with early-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma has decreased from 56% to 41% between 1998 and 2011, these results shed a new light on the use of combined RT therapy to improve survival rates for patients suffering from early stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma.