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This study, published in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, examined the impact of treatment-related morbidity on long-term, cause-specific mortality in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma. The study included 4,919 patients with Hodgkin lymphoma who were treated before age 51 between 1965 and 2000. The median follow-up was 20.2 years. The researchers used the data gathered to calculate several mortality measures. 

Ultimately, patients with Hodgkin lymphoma had a 5.1-fold higher risk of death due to other causes besides Hodgkin lymphoma. This increased risk of death was maintained in 40-year survivors. Survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma at 54 years old were found to experience similar cumulative mortality from causes other than Hodgkin lymphoma to 71-year old individuals from the general population. 

Moreover, patients treated with primary chemotherapy alone for stage 1 and stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma had significantly higher Hodgkin lymphoma mortality but lower 30-year mortality from other causes compared with patients treated with radiotherapy alone and combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy. 

The researchers concluded that patients with Hodgkin lymphoma have a significantly reduced life expectancy compared to the general population. They asserted that optimal selection of patients for chemotherapy is crucial and involves weighing the risk of relapse with the risk of long-term treatment toxicity [1].


[1] de Vries, S., Schaapveld, M., Janus, C. P. M., Daniëls, L. A., Petersen, E. J., van der Maazen, R. W. M., Zijlstra, J. M., Beijert, M., Nijziel, M. R., Verschueren, K. M. S., Kremer, L. C. M., van Eggermond, A. M., Lugtenburg, P. J., Krol, A. D. G., Roesink, J. M., Plattel, W. J., van Spronsen, D. J., van Imhoff, G. W., de Boer, J. P., . . . van Leeuwen, F. E. (2020). Long-term cause-specific mortality in Hodgkin lymphoma patients. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 113(6), 760–769. https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa194

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