Patterns of Failure After Involved Field Radiation Therapy for Pediatric and Young Adult Hodgkin Lymphoma

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Involved field radiation therapy (IFRT) is integral in curative therapy for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), although primarily used in patients with intermediate/high-risk HL. We present failure patterns and clinical outcomes in a cohort of pediatric and young adult patients with HL treated with IFRT at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.


Patients ≤40 years old with intermediate/high-risk HL who received chemotherapy and IFRT from 1997 to 2012 were included in this retrospective analysis. Patients were evaluated for failure patterns, overall survival (OS), and event-free survival (EFS) using Kaplan–Meier curves, descriptive statistics, and Cox proportional hazard regressions.


We reviewed 74 patients (45 pediatric and 29 young adult) with a median follow-up of 4.4 years. The mean age at diagnosis was 21.4 years. Patients received a median of 29.75 Gy of IFRT (range 15–39.6 Gy). The majority of pediatric patients received ABVE-PC chemotherapy (n = 25) and <30 Gy of radiation (n = 33) while most young adults received ABVD chemotherapy (n = 24) and ≥30 Gy (n = 25). Estimated 5-year OS and EFS were 96% and 81%, respectively. Thirteen patients had recurrence; eight were pediatric. Distant relapse alone comprised 83% of failures in patients receiving ≥30 Gy. Of the seven patients who received <30 Gy and had recurrence, six had local failure as a component of their recurrence. Caucasian race (P = 0.02) and nodular sclerosing histology (P = 0.01) predicted for increased EFS. Late effects were minimal and all deaths (n = 4) were from HL.


In this series, pediatric and young adult patients were treated with differing chemoradiation and had distinct recurrence patterns.

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