Oct. 20, 2005 Doctors in Germany have determined that patients suffering from early-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma can receive a reduced dose of involved field radiation therapy, combined with chemotherapy, and still retain a high survival rate, according to a study presented October 17, 2005, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 47th Annual Meeting in Denver.
If caught early, Hodgkin's lymphoma can usually be cured and most patients are living many years after their diagnosis. However, they often must live with side effects caused by the treatment. In this study, doctors wanted to see if they could reduce the amount of radiation given to patients in order to cut down on side effects and still cure them of their cancer.
Between May 1998 and May 2002, researchers studied 1,131 patients to see whether giving patients chemotherapy and reducing the amount of radiation (from 30 Gy to 20 Gy) would cure their cancer. The results showed that more than 98 percent of patients receiving the reduced treatment experienced complete remission from their disease. Only 2.5 percent of the patients relapsed during the study's two years of observation and 13 patients died from the disease during the course of the study.
"Although this was an interim study, the results are very encouraging that we can cure patients with early-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma of their cancer while reducing the amount of radiation we give them, thus allowing them to have a higher quality of life after treatment," said Hans Theodor Eich, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the University of Cologne in Cologne, Germany.
For more information on radiation therapy for Hodgkins lymphoma, please visit www.rtanswers.org or call 1-800-986-7876 for a free brochure.
ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 8,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As a leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to the advancement of the practice of radiation oncology by promoting excellence in patient care, providing opportunities for educational and professional development, promoting research and disseminating research results and representing radiation oncology in a rapidly evolving socioeconomic healthcare environment.
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