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Leukemia & Lymphoma

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Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Late Effects of Treatment for Adult NHL

Late effects of treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have been observed. Pelvic radiation therapy and large cumulative doses of cyclophosphamide have been associated with a high risk of permanent sterility.[1] For as many as three decades after diagnosis, patients are at a significantly elevated risk for second primary cancers, especially the following:[1,2,3]

Left ventricular dysfunction was a significant late effect in long-term survivors of high-grade NHL who received more than 200 mg/m² of doxorubicin.[4,5]

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Myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myelogenous leukemia are late complications of myeloablative therapy with autologous bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell support, as well as conventional chemotherapy-containing alkylating agents.[1,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13] Most of these patients show clonal hematopoiesis even before the transplantation, suggesting that the hematologic injury usually occurs during induction or reinduction chemotherapy.[8,14,15] With a median 10-year follow-up after autologous bone marrow transplantation (BMT) with conditioning using cyclophosphamide and total-body radiation therapy, in a series of 605 patients, the incidence of a second malignancy was 21%, and 10% of those were solid tumors.[16]

Successful pregnancies with children born free of congenital abnormalities have been reported in young women after autologous BMT.[17]

Some patients have osteopenia or osteoporosis at the start of therapy; bone density may worsen after therapy for lymphoma.[18]


  1. Mudie NY, Swerdlow AJ, Higgins CD, et al.: Risk of second malignancy after non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a British Cohort Study. J Clin Oncol 24 (10): 1568-74, 2006.
  2. Travis LB, Curtis RE, Glimelius B, et al.: Second cancers among long-term survivors of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. J Natl Cancer Inst 85 (23): 1932-7, 1993.
  3. Hemminki K, Lenner P, Sundquist J, et al.: Risk of subsequent solid tumors after non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: effect of diagnostic age and time since diagnosis. J Clin Oncol 26 (11): 1850-7, 2008.
  4. Haddy TB, Adde MA, McCalla J, et al.: Late effects in long-term survivors of high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. J Clin Oncol 16 (6): 2070-9, 1998.
  5. Moser EC, Noordijk EM, van Leeuwen FE, et al.: Long-term risk of cardiovascular disease after treatment for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Blood 107 (7): 2912-9, 2006.
  6. Darrington DL, Vose JM, Anderson JR, et al.: Incidence and characterization of secondary myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myelogenous leukemia following high-dose chemoradiotherapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation for lymphoid malignancies. J Clin Oncol 12 (12): 2527-34, 1994.
  7. Stone RM, Neuberg D, Soiffer R, et al.: Myelodysplastic syndrome as a late complication following autologous bone marrow transplantation for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. J Clin Oncol 12 (12): 2535-42, 1994.
  8. Armitage JO, Carbone PP, Connors JM, et al.: Treatment-related myelodysplasia and acute leukemia in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients. J Clin Oncol 21 (5): 897-906, 2003.
  9. André M, Mounier N, Leleu X, et al.: Second cancers and late toxicities after treatment of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma with the ACVBP regimen: a GELA cohort study on 2837 patients. Blood 103 (4): 1222-8, 2004.
  10. Oddou S, Vey N, Viens P, et al.: Second neoplasms following high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation for malignant lymphomas: a report of six cases in a cohort of 171 patients from a single institution. Leuk Lymphoma 31 (1-2): 187-94, 1998.
  11. Lenz G, Dreyling M, Schiegnitz E, et al.: Moderate increase of secondary hematologic malignancies after myeloablative radiochemotherapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation in patients with indolent lymphoma: results of a prospective randomized trial of the German Low Grade Lymphoma Study Group. J Clin Oncol 22 (24): 4926-33, 2004.
  12. McLaughlin P, Estey E, Glassman A, et al.: Myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukemia following therapy for indolent lymphoma with fludarabine, mitoxantrone, and dexamethasone (FND) plus rituximab and interferon alpha. Blood 105 (12): 4573-5, 2005.
  13. Morton LM, Curtis RE, Linet MS, et al.: Second malignancy risks after non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia: differences by lymphoma subtype. J Clin Oncol 28 (33): 4935-44, 2010.
  14. Mach-Pascual S, Legare RD, Lu D, et al.: Predictive value of clonality assays in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma undergoing autologous bone marrow transplant: a single institution study. Blood 91 (12): 4496-503, 1998.
  15. Lillington DM, Micallef IN, Carpenter E, et al.: Detection of chromosome abnormalities pre-high-dose treatment in patients developing therapy-related myelodysplasia and secondary acute myelogenous leukemia after treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. J Clin Oncol 19 (9): 2472-81, 2001.
  16. Brown JR, Yeckes H, Friedberg JW, et al.: Increasing incidence of late second malignancies after conditioning with cyclophosphamide and total-body irradiation and autologous bone marrow transplantation for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. J Clin Oncol 23 (10): 2208-14, 2005.
  17. Jackson GH, Wood A, Taylor PR, et al.: Early high dose chemotherapy intensification with autologous bone marrow transplantation in lymphoma associated with retention of fertility and normal pregnancies in females. Scotland and Newcastle Lymphoma Group, UK. Leuk Lymphoma 28 (1-2): 127-32, 1997.
  18. Westin JR, Thompson MA, Cataldo VD, et al.: Zoledronic acid for prevention of bone loss in patients receiving primary therapy for lymphomas: a prospective, randomized controlled phase III trial. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 13 (2): 99-105, 2013.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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