Purpose: To assess therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (t-AML/MDS) risk in patients treated for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) on successive generations of Stanford clinical trials.
Patients and methods: Patients with HL treated at Stanford with at least 5 years of follow-up after completing therapy were identified from our database. Records were reviewed for outcome and development of t-AML/MDS.
Results: Seven hundred fifty-four patients treated from 1974 to 2003 were identified. Therapy varied across studies. Radiotherapy evolved from extended fields (S and C studies) to involved fields (G studies). Primary chemotherapy was mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (MOPP) or procarbazine, mechlorethamine, and vinblastine (PAVe) in S studies; MOPP, PAVe, vinblastine, bleomycin, and methotrexate (VBM), or doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) in C studies; and VbM (reduced dose of bleomycin compared with VBM) or mechlorethamine, doxorubicin, vinblastine, vincristine, bleomycin, etoposide, and prednisone (Stanford V) in G studies. Cumulative exposure to alkylating agent (AA) was notably lower in the G studies compared with the S and C studies, with a 75% to 83% lower dose of nitrogen mustard in addition to omission of procarbazine and melphalan. Twenty-four (3.2%) of 754 patients developed t-AML/MDS, 15 after primary chemotherapy and nine after salvage chemotherapy for relapsed HL. The incidence of t-AML/MDS was significantly lower in the G studies (0.3%) compared with the S (5.7%) or C (5.2%) studies (P < .001). Additionally, in the G studies, no t-AML/MDS was noted after primary therapy, and the only patient who developed t-AML/MDS did so after second-line therapy.
Conclusion: Our data demonstrate the relationship between the cumulative AA dose and t-AML/MDS. Limiting the dose of AA and decreased need for secondary treatments have significantly reduced the incidence of t-AML/MDS, which was extremely rare in the G studies (Stanford V era).