Long-Term Survival in Advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma Improving Over Time


Rates of survival have increased in patients with stage III to IV Hodgkin lymphoma over 3 decades as a result of improvements in the United States health care system, according to a recent study published in The Oncologist (online May 8, 2018; doi:1634/theoncologist.2017-0541).

It is well documented that long-term outcomes among patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma have been improving over time since the 1960s. However, limited data exist to help explain specific factors and patient characteristics that are associated with improved incidence and survival.

Yushi Li, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University (China), and colleagues conducted a study aimed to demonstrate the differences in incidence and survival in recent decades of advanced Hodgkin lymphoma according to four variables: age, sex, race, and socioeconomic status. The main focus of the study was the outcomes of treatment and advancement of public health care.

Data on advanced Hodgkin lymphoma cases diagnosed from 1984 through 2013 were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program database. Researchers utilized survival, Kaplan-Meier, and Cox proportional hazards regression analyses to locate prognostic indicators in this disease setting.

Incidence rates in the first, second, and third decades from 1984 through 2013 were 1.1, 0.8, and 1.0 per 100,000 cases, respectively. The 120-month relative survival rate improved continuously in each decade from 58.5% to 64.6% to 72.1%.

Additionally, researchers reported that disparities in the 120-month survival rate between male and female patients as well as among patients of different races narrowed over time. Similarly, the difference in long-term survival rate between lower socioeconomic and higher socioeconomic patients narrowed across the 3 decades.


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The only patient variables that were not associated with improved survival rates over time were age older than 60 years and high poverty.

The long‐term survival rate for patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma increased in each decade, whereas survival rate disparities according to sex, race, and socioeconomic status narrowed,” authors of the study concluded.—Zachary Bessette