Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is one of the most curable malignancies. Despite its effectiveness, chemotherapy is often associated with adverse events (AEs) such as nausea, anorexia, and impairment of general well-being. Our objective was to assess the extent of medical cannabis use among HL patients and evaluate its efficacy in controlling chemotherapy-related AEs. Patterns of medical cannabis use and efficacy were evaluated using physician-completed application forms, medical files, and patient-completed questionnaires, for all consecutive adult HL patients treated at the Tel-Aviv Medical Center between June 2010 and November 2016. One-hundred and thirty-three patients met the inclusion criteria. The median age of the cohort was 37 years, 53% were male, 46% were diagnosed at an early stage, and 88% achieved a complete response to treatment. Fifty-one patients (38%) used medical cannabis. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between cannabis users and nonusers. Cannabis users reported improvement in pain, general well-being, appetite, and nausea in 94, 87, 82, and 79% of cases, respectively. Importantly, 81.5% reported a high overall efficacy of cannabis in relieving symptoms. AEs related to cannabis use itself were mild. Thus, medical cannabis use is prevalent in this HL cohort, and appears to be effective in ameliorating chemotherapy-related AEs.
Keywords: Cannabis; Chemotherapy-related adverse events; Hodgkin lymphoma.
© 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.