Long-term cardiac effects of modern treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma

Cardiooncology. 2024 Apr 4;10(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s40959-024-00222-4.


Background: Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) is a hematological malignancy that affects both children and young adults. Traditional treatment is associated with a life-time prevalence of cardiac disease exceeding 50%. In the late 1990s protocols were modified to reduce cancer therapy-related adverse cardiac effects. This study aimed to assess the long-term impact of advances in treatment protocols on the cardiac health of HL survivors (HLS).

Methods: HLS (n = 246) treated between 1997 and 2007 with anthracycline-based chemotherapy in three centers in Norway were included. Of these, 132 (53%) had also received mediastinal radiotherapy. HLS were compared to controls (n = 58) recruited from the general population and matched for sex, age, smoking status, and heredity for coronary artery disease. All subjects underwent echocardiography, clinical assessment, and blood sampling.

Results: The HLS were 46 ± 9 years old and had been treated 17 ± 3 years before inclusion in the study. There was no significant difference between HLS and controls in ejection fraction (EF) (58%±5 vs. 59%±4, p = 0.08) or prevalence of heart failure. HLS treated with both anthracyclines and mediastinal radiotherapy (AC + MRT) had slightly worse left ventricular global longitudinal strain than controls (-19.3 ± 2.5% vs. -20.8 ± 2.0%, p < 0.001), but those treated with only anthracyclines did not. HLS treated with AC + MRT had a higher prevalence of valve disease than those treated only with anthracyclines (12% vs. 4%, p < 0.05).

Conclusions: HLS treated with anthracyclines after the late 1990s have similar cardiac function and morphology as age-matched controls, apart from higher rates of valvular disease in those who also underwent mediastinal radiotherapy.

Keywords: Cancer survivorship; Cardiotoxicity; Echocardiography; Hodgkin’s lymphoma.