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Combined therapy more effective for early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma.

Asystematic review of two approaches to treating early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma has found a clear advantage to a combined therapy of radiation and chemotherapy over chemotherapy alone.

Researchers at the Cochrane Collaboration performed a meta-analysis using data from 1'245 patients enrolled in five trials. Each trial compared out comes among patients treated with six cycles of chemotherapy alone with those among patients treated with six cycles of chemotherapy plus radiation therapy. Patients had stage I or stage II disease. Median follow-up for the trials ranged from 2-11.4 years.

Patients who received the combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy lived longer than patients who received chemotherapy alone. The authors estimated that one life would be saved for every 11-55 patients treated with combination therapy instead of chemotherapy alone. Patients who received combination therapy also had a lower risk of relapse. For every six patients treated with combination therapy instead of chemotherapy alone' the authors estimated' one relapse would be prevented.

Patients receiving either treatment experienced similar side effects during the trials. However' long-term effects such as secondary malignancies can occur later than the reported observation times of the discussed trials' according to the authors. This long lag time makes it impossible to determine from the available data if deaths from late side effects differ between the two groups.

Herbst' C.' Rehan' F.A.' Skoetz' N.' Bohlius' J.' Brillant' C.' Schulz' H.' . . . Engert' A. (2011). Chemotherapy alone versus chemotherapy plus radiotherapy for early stage Hodgkin lymphoma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews' CD007110. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007110 .pub2

[By Deborah McBride' RN' MSN' CPON[R] ' Contributor]
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Title Annotation:just in
Author:McBride, Deborah
Publication:ONS Connect
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2011
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