Stage IA-IIB hodgkin's disease: Management and outcome of extensive thoracic involvement

Luke Hughes-Davies, Nancy J. Tarbell, C. Norman Coleman, Barbara Silver, Lawrence N. Shulman, Rita Linggood, George P. Canellos, Peter M. Mauch

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21 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the presentation, management, and outcome of patients with extensive intrathoracic involvement in early-stage Hodgkin's disease. Patients and Methods: One hundred seventy-two patients with clinical Stage IA-IIB Hodgkin's disease and extensive intrathoratic involvement were studied. Extensive intrathoracic disease was defined as either large mediastinal adenopathy (LMA, defined as the width of the mass greater than one-third the maximum thoracic diameter, n = 154) or as extensive (>10 cm) cephalocaudad intrathoracic disease that did not fulfill formal chest radiograph criteria for LMA (n = 18). Patients were divided into three groups based on staging and extent of treatment. Forty-seven patients were treated with radiation alone after a laparotomy (RT-lap), 47 patients received combined modality therapy after laparotomy (CMT-lap), and 78 patients were treated with combined modality therapy without staging laparotomy (CMT-no lap). MOPP was used to 82% of the CMT patients. Lowdose whole-cardiac RT was used in nearly 50% of patients treated either with RT or CMT. Results: The 10-year actuarial freedom from relapse rates were 54% with RT alone and 88% with CMT (p = 0.001); overall survival rates were 84 and 89%, respectively (p = NS). The median time to relapse was only 17 months. Over 80% of relapses occurred within the first 3 years. The most common site of relapse in all patients was the mediastinum. Relapses below the diaphragm were rare, even in CMT patients who did not receive abdominal radiation treatment. The principal acute morbidity was symptomatic pneumonitis, which occurred in 29% of patients receiving any part of their chemotherapy after RT, compared to 13% if all the cheraetherapy was given before RT and 11% if RT alone was administered. There was a low late risk of myocardial infarction (3%) in the two groups with the longest follow up (RT-lap, CMT-lap), but a higher risk of second malignancy in the CMT-lap group (21%) compared with the RT-lap group (2%). Conclusion: Extensive intrathoracic involvement is a distinctive presentation of early-stage HD that has a high relapse risk if treated with RT alone. The introduction of CMT has been associated with improvements in freedom from relapse. The low rate of peripheral relapse with CMT suggests that reductions in field size may be achievable. The use of low-dose whole-heart RT with modern techniques is not associated with a high risk of late cardiac complications and should be used in patients who present with extensive pericardial disease or cardiophrenic lympoadenopathy. The high rate of second malignancy in the CMT group with the longest follow-up suggests that careful long-term surveillance for such patients is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-369
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Large mediastinal involvement
  • Stage I-II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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