Oncologists need to be vigilant in Hodgkins patients with heart disease

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According to a recent study, Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease were more likely to return to the hospital for cardiac reasons than HL patients without it. This much comes as little surprise to those familiar with the complications of HL treatment and the cardiovascular system. However, the key finding appears to be that radiation therapy—specifically, radiotherapy to the chest—led to more cardiac hospitalizations (these patients had a 2.5 higher risk of such an occurrence than those without heart disease) than patients who received chemotherapy alone.

According to lead author David Hodgson, MD, of Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Program, the study doesn't indicate that chemotherapy alone is a better treatment modality for all patients than chemotherapy plus radiation. Instead, "Oncologists need to be aware of their patients' heart health and vigilant about post-treatment monitoring and active intervention to reduce their patients' cardiac risk factors."


Online on July 2 2010 at Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology.

By Ross Bonander

Sten Myrehaug, Melania Pintilie, Lingsong Yun, Michael Crump, Richard W. Tsang, Ralph M. Meyer, Jonathan Sussman, Eric Yu, and David C. Hodgson. "A population-based study of cardiac morbidity among Hodgkin lymphoma patients with pre-existing heart disease." Blood First Edition Paper, prepublished online July 1, 2010; DOI 10.1182/blood-2010-01-263764

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