The Role of Radiation in All Stages of Nodular Lymphocytic Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma

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We assessed the role of radiotherapy in nodular lymphocytic Hodgkin lymphoma, particularly among patients with advanced stage disease, and B symptoms. We found that among patients with nodular lymphocytic Hodgkin lymphoma, radiotherapy had a potential role in advanced-stage disease and those with B symptoms, suggesting further exploratory studies.


The goal of this study was to assess the survival differences seen in early-stage and advanced-stage nodular lymphocytic predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) based on treatment modality.

Patients and Methods:

The National Cancer Database was queried to identify patients diagnosed with NLPHL between 2004 and 2012. Overall survival (OS) was determined using univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank analysis were used to estimate differences in OS between treatment groups.


A total of 1968 patients were identified for analysis, consisting of stage I (40.4%), stage II (29.3%), stage III (22.3%), and stage IV (8.0%) disease. The median age of patients was 46 years. The following factors were predictive of radiotherapy (RT) omission in treatment: increasing age, black race, Medicare insurance, chemotherapy use, stage II to IV disease, and the presence of B-symptoms. On survival analysis, RT was associated with prolonged OS in all stages of NLPHL (50.1 vs. 42.4 months; P < .01). The OS benefit of RT persisted on multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 0.37; P < .01). On subset analysis, RT was associated with prolonged OS in early disease (49.8 vs. 45.5 months; P < .01), whereas a trend towards an OS benefit was observed in advanced-stage (54.1 vs. 39.6 months; P = .06) NLPHL. Radiotherapy was also associated with prolonged OS among patients with B-symptoms (49.0 vs. 42.6 months; P < .01).


The use of RT in NLPHL is less likely among those with advanced-stage disease and B-symptoms. However, we found RT to be associated with prolonged OS in all stages of NLPHL, including those with B-symptoms.

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