Lung cancer following Hodgkin's disease: a case-control study

Int J Cancer. 1992 Nov 11;52(5):677-81. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910520502.


It is recognized that survivors of Hodgkin's disease are at a substantially increased risk of lung cancer. A collaborative group of population-based cancer registries and major treatment centers carried out a case-control study, in which 98 cases of lung cancer were identified in patients who had survived at least 1 year following a diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease. A total of 259 matched controls were selected from patients with Hodgkin's disease who did not develop subsequent lung cancer, and for both cases and controls detailed information was abstracted from medical records concerning stage and treatment of Hodgkin's disease. Patients treated with chemotherapy alone had about twice the risk of developing lung cancer than those treated by radiotherapy alone or both modalities. There was no increase in risk with cumulative number of cycles of chemotherapy. Among patients treated with radiotherapy alone, there was an increase in risk related to estimated radiation dose to the lung. There was also a strong association between cigarette smoking and the risk of lung cancer. The finding of a higher risk following chemotherapy than following radiotherapy was unexpected, but could not be explained by any identified methodological flaws. A plausible inference from the study is that all forms of Hodgkin's disease therapy are carcinogenic to the lung and that, in particular, chemotherapy is associated with an increase in risk which is at least comparable to and perhaps higher than the risk produced by radiotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Hodgkin Disease*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary*
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Registries
  • Risk
  • Smoking
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents