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Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - General Information


Prognostic Factors

As the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma has improved, factors that are associated with outcome have become more difficult to identify. Several factors, however, continue to influence the success and choice of therapy. These factors are interrelated in the sense that disease stage, bulk, and biologic aggressiveness are frequently codependent. Further complicating the identification of prognostic factors is their use in determining the aggressiveness of therapy. For example, in a report from the German-Austrian Pediatric multicenter trial DAL-HD-90, bulky disease was not a prognostic factor for outcome on multivariate analysis. However, in this study, boost irradiation doses were given to patients who had postchemotherapy residual disease, which could have obfuscated the relevance of bulky disease at presentation.[27] This underscores the complexity in determining prognostic factors.

Pretreatment factors associated with an adverse outcome in one or more studies include the following:

  • Advanced stage of disease.[28]
  • Presence of B symptoms.[24,25]
  • Presence of bulky disease.[24]
  • Extranodal extension.
  • Elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
  • Leukocytosis (white blood cell count 11,500/mm3 or higher).[28]
  • Anemia (hemoglobin lower than 11.0 g/dL).
  • Male gender.[25,28]
  • Response to initial treatment with chemotherapy.[22,29,30]

Prognostic factors identified in selected multi-institutional studies include the following:

  • In the Society for Paediatric Oncology and Haematology (Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Onkologie und Hämatologie [GPOH]) GPOH-95 study, B symptoms, histology, and male gender were adverse prognostic factors for event-free survival on multivariate analysis.[25]
  • In 320 children with clinically staged Hodgkin lymphoma treated in the Stanford-St. Jude-Dana Farber Cancer Institute consortium, male gender; stage IIB, IIIB, or IV disease; white blood cell count of 11,500/mm3 or higher; and hemoglobin lower than 11.0 g/dL were significant prognostic factors for inferior disease-free survival and overall survival (OS). Prognosis was also associated with the number of adverse factors.[28]
  • In the CCG-5942 study, the combination of B symptoms and bulky disease was associated with an inferior outcome.[24]
  • One single-institutional study showed that African American patients had a higher relapse rate than white patients, but OS was similar.[31]
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