Second cancers in Hodgkin's lymphoma long-term survivals: A 60-year single institutional experience with real-life cohort of 871 patients

Int J Clin Pract. 2018 Jul 16;e13235. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.13235. Online ahead of print.


Background and purpose: Appropriate surveillance guidelines for patients after successful treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) are needed to reduce mortality of iatrogenic secondary cancers (SC). This large single institutional retrospective study analyses the risk of SC in HL patients treated outside of clinical trials over past decades.

Material and methods: Consecutive series of HL patients were analysed with median follow-up 12 years. Standardised incidence ratio (SIR) and absolute excess risk (AER) were calculated for site-specific risk of SC.

Results: In total of 871 patients (491 men; median age 34 years), chemotherapy alone, radiotherapy alone, and combined treatment underwent 36%, 40%, and 24% patients. 154 SC were found with significantly increased SIR = 2.9 and AER = 80.8 for all cancers except of nonmelanoma-skin cancer. SC-related death occurred in 71 patients (15% of those who died, 8% of whole cohort). The most common SC were lung (17.5% of all malignancies, SIR = 3.2), breast carcinoma (15.6%, SIR = 4.4), and haematological malignancy (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma SIR = 13.1; leukaemia SIR = 5.8). For SC within radiation field, the highest AER was in breast (AER = 46.9), colorectal (AER = 22.8), and lung cancer (AER = 17).

Conclusions: Patients with HL are generally at great risk of developing SC, which is significantly increased especially by the use of radiotherapy. We suggested special follow-up schema for patients after initial HL treatment suitable for daily real-world clinical practice. The system depends on gender, form of HL treatment and especially the form of radiation therapy in terms of location of radiation fields.