Improvements in the US healthcare system has led to increases of survival among patients with advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma (aHL) over 3 decades, according to a study in The Oncologist.

Although long-term outcomes among patients with stage III to IV Hodgkin lymphoma have been improving over time, there has been little research done to elucidate how specific factors are associated with improved incidence and survival.

For this study, researchers obtained data from 7763 cases of aHL in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program database between 1984 and 2013, which showed the number of years of diagnosis, age at diagnosis, disease stage, race, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES).

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Analysis revealed that incidence rates for aHL was the highest between 1984 and 1993 (1.1 per 100,000) and lowest between 1994 and 2003 (0.8 per 100,000). Incidence increased for the third decade of analysis between 2004 and 2013, at 1.0 per 100,000.

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The 120-month relative survival rate improved every decade, going from 58.4% to 64.6% to 72.1%. Furthermore, disparities in the 120-month relative survival rate narrowed between male and female patients, and between patients of differing races; the differences in long-term survival also narrowed between patients who were poor (medium and high poverty) and rich (low poverty) as well.

The only patient variables that were not associated with improved survival rates over time were patients older than 60 years, and the high-poverty group.

The authors concluded that the findings “showed the positive effects of significant advances in US public health care. We also showed that adequate health care can overcome disparities in the susceptibility to aHL due to genetic differences according to race, which may predict future trends in the incidence of and long-term prognosis for aHL.”


Li Y, Sun H, Yan Y, Sun T, Wang S, Ma H. Long-term survival rates of patients with stage III-IV Hodgkin lymphoma according to age, sex, race, and socioeconomic status, 1984-2013[published online May 8, 2018]. Oncologist. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2017-0541

This article originally appeared on ONA