A recent analysis of survival outcomes for patients with advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) has shown reduced mortality rates with time, but it has also highlighted a continued need for improvement in survival rates. The study results were reported in The Oncologist.

The research team conducting the study examined data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database for 9042 adult patients treated with chemotherapy for stage 3 or 4 classic HL. The researchers conducted analyses of overall survival (OS) over time. For these analyses, the years during which the patients were diagnosed were divided into 5-year intervals (2000 to 2004, 2005 to 2009, and 2010 to 2014).

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The median age of patients included in the analysis was 41.0 years. The 3-year OS rate for this population rose from 78.5% in the period between 2000 and 2004 to 81.8% in the period between 2010 and 2014 (P =.0008).

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Initial treatment with radiation declined from a rate of 21.3% in the period between 2000 and 2004 to 10.7% in the period between 2010 and 2014. However, the rate of death by cardiovascular causes and the incidence of second primary malignancy did not significantly decrease over time.

Patient age showed an association with OS, with younger patients showing higher survival rates compared with older patients. The 3-year OS rate was lower for patients over 60 years of age throughout the years of study, but it increased to 58.6% in the period between 2010 to 2014, compared with 48.6% during the period of 2000 to 2004.

Multiple demographic variables, including socioeconomic factors, appeared to affect survival outcomes, which the researchers considered evidence of unmet needs in the treatment of this condition.

“Survival of patients with advanced-stage HL has continued to improve over time, suggesting the clinical [influence] of novel therapies and improved treatment approaches,” the authors concluded. However, they noted that other researchers have reported 5-year OS rates of 90%, suggesting that the 3-year population-level OS in this patient population can be improved further.


1.     Guru Murthy GS, Szabo A, Hamadani M, Fenske TS, Shah NN. Contemporary outcomes for advanced-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma in the U.S.: analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database [published online August 29, 2019]. Oncologist. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0172