Radiation therapy salvage of Hodgkin's disease following chemotherapy failure

Bryan R. Leigh, Kenneth A. Fox, Curtis F. Mack, Monika Baier, Thomas P. Miller, J. Robert Cassady

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39 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study evaluates the efficacy of comprehensive salvage radiation therapy, with or without chemotherapy, in selected patients with Hodgkin's disease who have failed primary combination chemotherapy. Methods and Materials: Between 1972 and 1991, 28 patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease failing intensive combination chemotherapy in previously unirradiated nodal and/or pulmonary sites were treated with salvage radiotherapy with curative intent. Treatment consisted of comprehensive extended field radiotherapy to all known areas of disease. Total radiation doses ranged from 17.0 to 50.0 Gy, with only five patients (18%) receiving < 30.0 Gy to any field. Twelve patients also received chemotherapy as part of their salvage regimen. Results: Twenty-six patients (93%) achieved a complete response and 14 (50%) remain in continuous complete remission at 14 to 133 months. In addition, three patients (11%) who failed salvage radiotherapy are now without evidence of disease following additional therapy. With a median follow-up of 47 months (range 14+ to 198+), actuarial median relapse-free survival and overall survival are 46 and 97 months, respectively. Actuarial 5-year relapse-free survival and overall survival are 40% and 63%, respectively. Patients with an initial complete response to chemotherapy had a significantly longer actuarial relapse-free survival than those with an initial partial response (p = 0.02). Salvage therapy was generally well-tolerated and resulted in no treatment-related deaths. Conclusion: Comprehensive salvage radiotherapy is of significant benefit in selected patients and should be considered an option for patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease following chemotherapy failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-862
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 15 1993


  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Radiation therapy
  • Recurrent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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