Mediastinal irradiation for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Am J Med. 1976 Dec;61(6):892-6. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(76)90413-7.


Thirty-one patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with mediastinal radiation. In none of the patients was complete remission achieved; either partial remission or clinical improvement was achieved in 52 per cent, but the duration of response was short. The response rate was 77 per cent for the patients receiving a total radiation dose greater than 3,000 rads and 45 per cent for those receiving less than 3,000 rads. Severe life-threatening toxicity was noted in 11 patients and seven of these patients died; two patients died with progressive disease. Severe toxicity was manifested by one or more of the following: bone marrow aplasia, pancytopenia, gram-negative sepsis, generalized herpes zoster and severe esophagitis. Neither the total dose of radiation nor the dose per week correlated withe the severity of reaction or death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Platelets
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphoid / blood
  • Leukemia, Lymphoid / radiotherapy*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymph Nodes / radiation effects
  • Lymphocytes
  • Male
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Mediastinum*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology*
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Spleen / radiation effects


  • Hemoglobins