Patients with stage I and II Hodgkin's Disease who receive radiation therapy (RT) have a higher 10-year survival rate -- 84 percent compared to 76 percent - than those who do not, according to a study presented by researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO's) 56th Annual Meeting today.
Researchers studied the survival patterns of 41,502 patients diagnosed with early stage Hodgkin's Disease from 1998 to 2011 and captured in the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), which represents more than 75 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S., Patients receiving RT had a statistically significant improved overall survival rate at 10 years but the use of RT in this same group of patients dropped from 56 percent to 41 percent between 1998 and 2011.
The most common physician-reported reason for not administering RT was that it was not part of the planned initial treatment strategy. The research also indicated that RT use was associated with younger patients of a higher socioeconomic status, who had access to health insurance and received treatment at comprehensive cancer centers.
"Multiple prospective, randomized trials have shown a significant improvement in disease control with the addition of RT, however previous trials were limited by low patient numbers and limited follow-up and thus, were unable to demonstrate an overall survival benefit," said lead study author Rahul R. Parikh, MD, a radiation oncologist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel and an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Given the survival benefits demonstrated in this study, radiotherapy should be included in treatment protocols in order to maintain high overall survival rates for this curable disease. Given that the use of RT was associated with younger age, insurance status, higher socioeconomic status, and treatment at comprehensive cancer centers, we have highlighted ongoing disparities in Hodgkin's Disease treatment and it is important that we recognize these findings as potential barriers to care."
Survival was estimated using Kaplan-Meier, a statistical method. The average patient in the database analyzed was 37 years old, and had been followed for 7.5 years.
Mount Sinai Health System