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Resident’s Conference. Cynthia Lan, MD June 21, 2005. Case presentation. CC: “I have a knot under my chin”

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Resident’s Conference

Cynthia Lan, MDJune 21, 2005


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Case presentation

CC: “I have a knot under my chin”

HPI: 29 AAF who c/o “knot” under her chin x 1 week. About 2 weeks ago, she had some upper respiratory symptoms (nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sore throat). She went to see her doctor and was given amoxicillin. Her respiratory symptoms resolved, but the mass under her chin remained. The patient does not feel the mass has grown in size, but it has not decreased in size either so she was concerned.

She denies fevers, chills, or weight loss. ROS otherwise negative.

PMH: 1) Asthma

2) C sxn x 2

3) Tonsillectomy

Medications: None

Allergies: None

Soc Hx: Married. Has 3 healthy children, ranging from ages 9 to 13. Works as store manager at Albertson’s. Occasional ETOH use. Quit smoking 5 years ago. Denies IV drug abuse.

FH: Negative for cancer


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  • PE: afebrile, BP 107/76, P 90, R 18

  • General: well developed, well nourished African American female in NAD

  • HEENT: PERRL, EOMI, OP clear

  • Neck: Right sided submandibular mass, firm, mobile, non tender, about 3 cm in diameter. No other adenopathy appreciated.

  • Lungs: CTAB

  • Breasts: no masses

  • Abd: +BS, soft, NT, ND

  • Extrem: no edema

  • Neuro: CN 2-12 intact


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Labs:

  • Chem 8 normal

  • CBC: WBC 21,000, hgb 10.9, hct 34.1, plt 613. (diff 83% neutrophil, 10% lymph, 4% mono, 1% eos)

  • LFTs normal, alb 3.8



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CD30 + Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nodular sclerosing type. Immunohistochemical studies were positive for CD15 and CD30, and are negative for CD45 and CD 20.


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CD15 + Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nodular sclerosing type. Immunohistochemical studies were positive for CD15 and CD30, and are negative for CD45 and CD 20.


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CD20 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nodular sclerosing type. Immunohistochemical studies were positive for CD15 and CD30, and are negative for CD45 and CD 20.-


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Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nodular sclerosing type. Immunohistochemical studies were positive for CD15 and CD30, and are negative for CD45 and CD 20.

  • The incidence of HL is 2.7 per 100,000.

  • Occurs slightly more often in men.

  • In North America, there is a higher incidence among those of higher socioeconomic status.

  • Cumulative lifetime risk of developing Hodgkin’s lymphoma in North America is approximately 1 in 250 to 1 in 300.

  • The highest rates of HL are seen in the US, Canada, Switzerland, and northern Europe.

  • Intermediate rates are seen in southern and eastern Europe

  • Low rates are see in Japan, China and other Asian countries.


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  • Unsure why there is a variation in Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nodular sclerosing type. Immunohistochemical studies were positive for CD15 and CD30, and are negative for CD45 and CD 20.

    incidence rates

  • Postulated reasons include differences

    in incidence, age of onset, or genotype

    of Epstein-Barr virus infection;

    crowding during childhood as a result of

    lower socioeconomic status, or intrinsic

    genetic differences in susceptibility.


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Etiology and pathogenesis first peak occurring in the 20s and a second after the age of 55.

  • Cause of HL remains unknown

  • Epstein-Barr virus likely plays a role in etiology but mechanism is not clear.

  • No clear association with occupational or environmental factors has been found.

  • Neoplastic cell is a B-cell that has lost its ability to produce antibody but does not undergo expected cell death due to defective or blocked apoptosis.

  • Genetic factor?

    • First degree relatives of people with HL have up to a five-fold increased risk of developing HL.

    • Monozygotic twins are almost 100-fold more likely to develop HL compared with dizygotic twins of an affected person.

    • It is speculated that genetically predisposed individuals could react differently to the virus, increasing their chances that a lymphoid neoplasm be induced.


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  • HL has a unique cellular composition, containing a minority of neoplastic cells (Reed Sternberg cells) in an inflammatory background.

  • Currently classified (by the REAL classification) into two distinct diseases: classical HL and nodular lymphocyte predominance HL.

  • Classical HL are further subclassified according to the morphology of the Reed-Sternberg cells and the composition of the cellular background: nodular sclerosis, mixed cellularity, lymphocyte-rich, and lymphocyte depletion.


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History of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma of neoplastic cells (Reed Sternberg cells) in an inflammatory background.

  • The first recorded description of Hodgkin’s disease was published in 1666 by Marcello Malpighi, an Italian physiologist. His paper was entitled De viscerum structuru excercitatio anatomica.

  • In 1832, Sir Thomas Hodgkin (a British Pathologist) published his paper on lymphatic disease “On Some Morbid Appearances of the Absorbant Glands and Spleen.” In this paper, he describes a small series of cases of lymph node or splenic enlargement.

  • 1865 Samuel Wilks (another British Physician) describes the same disease, independently of Hodgkin and with greater precision. As he later became acquainted with Hodgkin’s prior work, he named the condition after Hodgkin.


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Sir Thomas Hodgkin (1789-1866) of neoplastic cells (Reed Sternberg cells) in an inflammatory background.


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  • 1872 Theodore Langhans (a German pathologist and anatomist) publishes the first histopathologic features of Hodgkin’s disease

  • 1878 Greenfield publishes the pathology of lymphomas with histopathologic features of Hodgkin’s disease.

  • 1894 Sir William Osler’s textbook, The Principles and Practice of Medicine, was the first publication to mention chemotherapy for lymphoma (Fowler’s solution—an arsenic containing medicinal).

  • 1898 Carl von Sternberg (an Austrain pathologist) first described the giant cells now called Reed-Sternberg cells. However he never clearly separated Hodgkin's disease from active tuberculosis, since a number of his patients had both disorders.

  • 1902 Dorothy Reed (an American pathologist) independently described Reed-Sternberg cells and she first clearly separated TB from HD.


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Dr. Dorothy Reed Mendenhall 1874-1964 publishes the first histopathologic features of Hodgkin’s disease

  • American pathologist

  • Born in Columbus, Ohio, to a wealthy family,

  • but her father died when she was only

  • 6 years old, so she went into medicine

  • as a result of her family’s financial decline.

  • She attended John’s Hopkins school of medicine

  • In 1900, she won a prestigious internship with

    Dr. William Osler, and in 1901 she won a

    pathology fellowship with Dr. William Welch.

    Working in the Hopkins laboratories, she

    first clearly separated tuberculosis from

    Hodgkin's disease, and maintained that the

    term Hodgkin disease should be limited to

    histological findings in which "her"

    giant cells were present. She later won

    international recognition for her work.


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Reed-Sternberg Cell publishes the first histopathologic features of Hodgkin’s disease

  • Measure 20 to 60 micrometers in diameter, display a large rim of cytoplasm, have 2 nuclei with acidophilic nucleoli that covers more than 50% of the nuclear area.


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History (cont) publishes the first histopathologic features of Hodgkin’s disease

  • WWII Explosion in Bari, Italy exposes servicemen to toxic effects of mustard gases. Follow-up of the exposed men shows marrow and lymphatic system suppression.

  • 1943 Nitrogen Mustard (a mustard gas derivative) was submitted to Goodman and Gilman at Yale for treatment of HD and lymphosarcoma.

  • In mid 1940s Gilbert and Craft advocate irradiation of nodes and surrounding areas-5 year survival reported to be 25-35%

  • 1963 Development of MOMP – first combination chemotherapy for HD (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, methotrexate, prednisone)

  • 1964 MOPP combination chemotherapy derived by replacing methotrexate with procarbazine in MOMP.


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Clinical Presentation bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) to MOPP.

  • Most patients present with lymphadenopathy, usually in the cervical, axillary or mediastinal areas.

  • In only 10% of patients does the nodal disease present initially below the diaphram.

  • Very large mediastinal masses can develop with only modest symptoms.

  • Lymph nodes involved are usually painless, but occasionally a patient will note discomfort in the involved sites right after drinking alcohol.

  • The classic B symptoms (weight loss greater than 10% of baseline, night sweats, persistent fevers) only develop in 25% of patients.

  • Such sx usually indicate widespread or locally extensive disease and the need for at least some systemic treatment as part of the plan.

  • Pruitus can precede the diagnosis of HL by up to several years.

  • An occasional patient will present with symptomatic anemia or incidentally noticed pancytopenia because HL can involve the bone marrow.


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Pathology/Biology bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) to MOPP.

  • Diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is based on seeing Reed-Sternberg cells in an appropriate cellular background in tissue from a lymph node or extralymphatic organ such as the bone marrow, lung or bone.

  • Open biopsy is required for diagnosis, to determine the histologic subtype. (FNA can be suggestive but is not adequate for diagnosis of HL.)

  • Immunohistochemical studies

    • Classical HL is positive for CD30 and CD15, negative for CD45 and CD79a

    • Nodular lymphocyte predominant HL is negative for CD30 and CD15, positive for CD45 and CD79a and CD20


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Evaluation bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) to MOPP.

  • History: Ask for B symptoms (fever, weight loss, night sweats)

  • PE: LAD, organomegaly

  • Labs: CBC, ESR, liver function, renal function, hepatitis B, HIV (if risk factors are present), and albumin.

  • Bone marrow biopsy for patients with B symptoms or WBC <4,000 or advanced disease.

  • CT scan of chest/abd/pelvis

  • PET can be useful to asses residual masses during or after planned treatment to identify the minority who should receive altered or additional therapy.


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  • ?Role of staging laparotomy—in the past, certain stage I-II patients without B symptoms and nodular sclerosis histology may undergo staging laparotomy (a laparotomy with splenectomy and liver biopsy) because if negative, patients can be treated with mantle field radiation alone.

  • However, it is rarely done these days because of the associated morbidity and lack of survival advantage in patients with favorable prognosis disease. Also, most pts with stage I-II disease now receive chemo in addition to radiation anyway.


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Staging (Ann Arbor classification) I-II patients without B symptoms and nodular sclerosis histology may undergo staging laparotomy (a laparotomy with splenectomy and liver biopsy) because if negative, patients can be treated with mantle field radiation alone.

Stage Definition

I Involvement of single LN region or lymphoid structure (spleen)

II Involvement of 2 or more LN regions on the same side of the diaphram

III Involvement of LN regions on both sides of the diaphram

III1 Limited to spleen, splenic hilar nodes, celiac nodes, or portal nodes

III2 Includes para-aortic, iliac, or mesenteric nodes plus those in stage III1

IV Involvement of extranodal sites beyond that designated as “E” (see next slide); more than one extranodal deposit at any location, any involvement of liver or bone marrow.


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Staging (cont) I-II patients without B symptoms and nodular sclerosis histology may undergo staging laparotomy (a laparotomy with splenectomy and liver biopsy) because if negative, patients can be treated with mantle field radiation alone.

A No B symtoms

B Unexplained weight loss greater than 10% in the last 6 months, unexplained fever >100.4 F in the past month, recurrent drenching night sweats in the past month

X Bulky disease, mass greater than 10 cm, mediastinal mass greater than 1/3 the chest diameter at T5-6

E Localized solitary involvement of extralymphatic tissue, except liver and bone marrow


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Prognosis I-II patients without B symptoms and nodular sclerosis histology may undergo staging laparotomy (a laparotomy with splenectomy and liver biopsy) because if negative, patients can be treated with mantle field radiation alone.

  • Prognosis of patients with HL has improved over the past 50 years.

  • Two factors dominate the prognosis: Age and stage.

  • Elderly patients (those older than 65) make up only 5% of all pts with HL, but their likelihood of being cured is only ½ that of younger pts (comorbid conditions, loss of organ reserve with aging, and intrinsic resistance of the disease in older pts).

  • Pts with limited-stage disease have at least a 90 to 95% likelihood of cure.

  • Pts with advanced disease have 65% chance of cure with primary treatment.

  • Relapsed disease: cure in more than 40 to 50% with high dose chemotherapy.


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Primary Treatment I-II patients without B symptoms and nodular sclerosis histology may undergo staging laparotomy (a laparotomy with splenectomy and liver biopsy) because if negative, patients can be treated with mantle field radiation alone.

  • Currently, most pts with Hodgkin’s disease are cured so minimizing long-term consequences of treatment is important.

  • Although the chances of being cured of HL is high, overall expectation of survival is not normal.

  • Challenge in treating pts with HL is not only to cure the disease but to do so while holding the potential for long term toxicity to a minimum.

  • This usually means choosing an initial approach to cure the majority of pts and using secondary treatment for the minority who relapse.


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Favorable and unfavorable prognosis stage I-II Hodgkin’s disease

  • Among stage I-II pts, retrospective studies have identified a number of adverse prognostic criteria: large mediastinal adenopathy, age >50, and B symtoms.

  • Large mediastinal adenopathy predicts an increased risk of relapse, but date is conflicting on whether these findings cause a lower rate of survival.

  • Older age: have a lower survival rate than younger patients, probably due to less successful treatment at relapse and a greater mortality risk from other causes (i.e. second tumors and cardiac disease)

  • Pts with B symptoms have higher relapse rate.


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Treatment of favorable Stage I-II HL disease

  • Favorable prognostic indicators (as defined by the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer H7 and H8 trials) : age 50 or under, no large mediastinal adenopathy, ESR < 50/h and no B symptoms or ESR < 30/h with B symptoms, disease limited to one to three regions of involvement.

  • Currently there are several treatment options, and although there are differences in relapse rates, there is no difference in overall survival.

    • ABVD for 3-6 cycles, followed by involved field irradiation with 30 Gy with an optional boost of 6 Gy to individual nodes of concern.

    • Mantle field irradiation (neck, chest, axillary LN) to 30 Gy with a total dose of 36 to 40 Gy to regions of initial involvement followed by paraaortic and splenic irradiation to 30 Gy. (Risk of second malignancies is increased with these larger radiation fields.)

    • Full dose chemotherapy alone is under investigation in clinical trials.

      (ABVD = doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine)


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Randomized Comparison of ABVD Chemotherapy With a Strategy that includes radiation therapy in patients with limited-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma: National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (Meyer, et al. J of Clinical Oncology, vol 23, no 21) Published ahead of print on April 18, 2005 (Original date July 20, 2005)

  • Randomized trial comparing ABVD alone to ABVD + radiation in 399 pts.

  • Pts with nonbulky stage I to IIA Hodgkin’s lymphoma were stratified into favorable and unfavorable cohorts. (Unfavorable cohort: age >40 yr, ESR>50, mixed cellularity or lymphocyte deplete histology, >4 sites of disease)

  • Randomized to ABVD alone or treatment that includes radiation therapy. In the ABVD group, both cohorts (favorable and unfavorable) received ABVD as a single modality x 4-6 cycles. In the treatment with radiotherapy group, the favorable cohort received sub total nodal radiation therapy only, while the unfavorable cohort received combined modality therapy with ABVD x 2 cycles plus sub total nodal irradiation therapy.

  • Median follow up is 4.2 years.


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  • Results: Compared to ABVD alone, 5 yr freedom from disease progression is superior in pts allocated to radiation therapy (93% v 87%, P=0.006), but no differences in event free survival (88% v 86%, P=0.06) or overall survival (94% v 96%, p = 0.4) were detected. In subset analysis comparing pts stratified into the unfavorable cohort, FFD progression was superior in pts assigned to ABVD+radiation group compared to ABVD alone (95% v 88%, p = 0.004), but no difference in overall survival was detected (92% v 95%, p = 0.3)

  • Conclusion: In pts with limited stage HL, no difference in overall survival was detected between pts randomly assigned to receive treatment that includes radiation therapy vs ABVD alone. Although 5-year FFD progression was superior in pts receiving radiation therapy, this advantage is offset by deaths due to causes other than progressive HL or acute treatment related toxicity.


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Treatment of unfavorable Stage I-II disease progression is superior in pts allocated to radiation therapy (93% v 87%, P=0.006), but no differences in event free survival (88% v 86%, P=0.06) or overall survival (94% v 96%, p = 0.4) were detected. In subset analysis comparing pts stratified into the unfavorable cohort, FFD progression was superior in pts assigned to ABVD+radiation group compared to ABVD alone (95% v 88%, p = 0.004), but no difference in overall survival was detected (92% v 95%, p = 0.3)

  • Combined modality therapy (chemo + radiation)

  • Chemotherapy (ABVD or MOPP/ABVD) is given to maximal tumor response (usually 4 to 6 monthly cycles), as judged by CT scan and PET, after which 2 additional cycles of consolidation chemotherapy are given followed by limited radiation therapy.

  • Radiation fields can be limited to involved regions (shown on CT or PET). Restricting fields reduces the risk of pulmonary complications related to the radiation. Also, in young women, the elimination of axillary irradiation reduces the risk of subsequent breast cancer.

    MOPP = (nitrogen mustard/mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone)


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Treatment of advanced (stage III-IV) Hodgkin’s disease progression is superior in pts allocated to radiation therapy (93% v 87%, P=0.006), but no differences in event free survival (88% v 86%, P=0.06) or overall survival (94% v 96%, p = 0.4) were detected. In subset analysis comparing pts stratified into the unfavorable cohort, FFD progression was superior in pts assigned to ABVD+radiation group compared to ABVD alone (95% v 88%, p = 0.004), but no difference in overall survival was detected (92% v 95%, p = 0.3)

  • The prognosis of stage III varies with the absence (A) or presence (B) of B symptoms. Stage IIIA actually is a category of intermediate malignancy.

  • Chemotherapy has become curative for many patients with advanced stages of HD.

  • Since the 1960s, MOPP has been the main effective chemo for advanced stage HD, but toxicity has been an important limitation. (Late complications include sterility and increased risk of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia.)

  • ABVD is more effective and less toxic, and is currently the standard for advanced HD.


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  • With ABVD, 60 to 70% of pts will be alive and free of disease at 5 years.

  • Recommendation: pts be monitored for response during treatment (6 cycles minimum) and receive 2 courses of chemo beyond best response.

  • The addition of radiotherapy improves freedom from progression, but not survival.

  • Randomized trials have not been done, but combined modality treatment is currently favored for pts with massive mediastinal disease.


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Other chemotherapy used for advanced stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma

  • BEACOPP (Bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone) was developed by the German Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Study Group.

    • May be particularly useful in pts with highest risk disease

    • Higher rates of toxicity, including infertility and a higher risk of MDS/AML when compared to ABVD.

  • Stanford V (doxorubicin, vinblastine, mechlorethamine, vincristine, bleomycin, etoposide, prednisone), a combined modality treatment with the great majority of pts receiving radiation.

    • Best results are in pts with less than 3 adverse risk factors

    • Ongoing trials comparing Stanford V with ABVD.


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Patients who relapse lymphoma

  • 20 to 40% of pts with advanced HD who enter complete remission with initial chemo will relapse.

  • Poor prognostic factors for response to first line chemo include B symptoms, age >45, bulky mediastinal disease, extranodal involvement, low hct, high ESR and high levels of CD 30.

  • Pts with resistant disease (those who do not have CR after initial treatment with ABVD) should be offered high dose chemo, with or without radiotherapy followed by bone marrow transplant.


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Second malignancies after treatment of Hodgkin’s disease lymphoma

  • Increasing success in the treatment of Hodgkin’s disease has been associated with second malignancies.

  • There is an increased risk of leukemia (10-80 fold), Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (3 to 35 fold), and solid tumors (lung, breast, bone, stomach, colon, thyroid, melanoma, over 2 fold)

  • Acute Leukemia--Highest risks and greatest number of cases occur between 5 and 10 years after the initiation of treatment, usually with alkylating agents.

  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma—incidence ranged from 0.9% at 6.7 years followup to 1.6 % at 15 years.

  • One-half to two-thirds of second malignancies are solid tumors after 15 or more years of follow-up.

  • The risk is inversely related to age at initial treatment.

  • Lung and breast cancer are the two most common second malignancies.

  • Other malignancies include bone and soft tissue cancer, thyroid cancer, melanoma, and GI cancers.


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  • NEJM 1996 Breast Cancer and other second neoplasms after childhood Hodgkin’s Disease (Bhatia, et al.)

    • Cohort of 1380 children with Hodgkin’s disease (age at dx = 1-16 yr)

    • Estimated incidence of any second neoplasm 15 years after the diagnosis of HD was 7.0%

    • The incidence of solid tumors was 3.9%

    • Breast cancer was the most common solid tumor with an incidence that approached 35% by 40 years of age.

    • The estimated incidence of leukemia was 2.8% at 14 years after diagnosis.

    • Treatment with alkylating agents, recurrence of HD, and late stage of disease at diagnosis were risk factors for leukemia.


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Issues for the future childhood Hodgkin’s Disease (Bhatia, et al.)

  • In the past, Hodgkin’s disease was largely incurable, but at present it is often curable.

  • With 15% of pts still dying of lymphoma, there are new treatments on the horizon

  • Currently under investigation for treatment of HL is gemcitabine (a pyrimidine antimetabolite that inhibits DNA synthesis).

    • Small Phase II study done in Italy and Germany (Santoro, et al. Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 18, No 13, 2000)

    • 23 pts with refractory or relapsed HD, who had more than one previous chemotherapy regimen

    • Overall response rate of 39% with gemcitabine therapy

  • Targeted immunotherapy is a new treatment being researched. Rituximab (anti CD20 monoclonal antibody) has proven useful for several different types of B-cell lymphomas, and the nearly universal expression of CD20 on the neoplastic cells of lymphocyte predominant HL suggests that this lymphoma might be treated successfully with rituximab.


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Follow up on our patient childhood Hodgkin’s Disease (Bhatia, et al.)

  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nodular sclerosing type.

  • Stage IIIAX (PET CT showed mediastinal, right supraclavicular, infraclavicular and pancreatic hypermetabolic localization consistent with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with the largest lesion in the mediastinum measuring 13 cm).

  • She has completed 6 cycles of chemotherapy with ABVD.

  • Her mediastinal mass has decreased in size to 7.85 x 6.4 cm.

  • Her most recent PET scan after 6 cycles shows decreased metabolic activity in thoracic mass, implying fair response to therapy. The other areas of abnormal intensities have resolved and no new abnormalities are noted.

  • She is scheduled to undergo 2 more cycles of ABVD.


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References childhood Hodgkin’s Disease (Bhatia, et al.)

  • Abeloff: Clinical Oncology, 3rd ed., 2004. pp 2985–3011.

  • Bhatia, et al. Breast cancer and other second neoplasms after childhood Hodgkin’s disease. NEJM 1996;334:745-51.

  • Hasenclever D, Diehl, V, A prognostic score for Advanced Hodgin’s disease. NEJM 1998;339:1506-1514

  • Meyer, et al. J of Clin Oncol vol 23, no 21. Randomized Comparison of ABVD Chemotherapy with a strategy that includes radiation therapy in patients with limited stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma: National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials group and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Pp1-9.

  • Santoro, et al. J of Clin Oncol vol 18, no 13. Gemcitabine in the treatment of Refractory Hodgkin’s disease: results of a multicenter phase II study. Pp 2615-2619.

  • Tierney, Jr. et al. 2002 Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment. 549.

  • www.lymphomainfo.net

  • www.Uptodate.com

  • www.whonamedit.com


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