Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 2012 Jun 05
Role of salvage radiation therapy for patients with relapsed or refractory hodgkin lymphoma who failed autologous stem cell transplant.   
To analyze, through chart review, the efficacy of salvage radiation therapy (sRT) for relapsed or progressive Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients who failed autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT).
Among 347 patients with recurrent/refractory HL who received ASCT from 1986-2006, 163 had post-ASCT progression or relapse. Of these, 56 received sRT and form the basis of this report. Median age at sRT was 30 years (range, 17-59 years). Disease was confined to lymph nodes in 27 patients, whereas 24 had both nodal and extranodal disease. Salvage radiation therapy alone was given in 34 patients (61%), and sRT plus chemotherapy was given in 22 (39%). Median interval from ASCT to sRT was 0.8 years (range, 0.1-5.6 years). The median dose was 35 Gy (range, 8-40.3 Gy). The sRT technique was extended-field in 14 patients (25%) and involved-field in 42 (75%).
The median follow-up from sRT was 31.3 months (range, 0.2-205.5 months). Overall response rate was 84% (complete response: 36%; partial response: 48%). The median overall survival was 40.8 months (95% confidence interval, 34.2-56.3 months). The 5-year overall survival was 29% (95% confidence interval, 14%-44%). The 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 16%; the 2-year local PFS was 65%, whereas the 2-year systemic PFS was 17%. The 1-year PFS was higher in patients in whom all diseased sites were irradiated (49%) compared with those in whom only the symptomatic site was treated (22%, P=.07). Among 20 alive patients, 5 were disease free (at 6.4, 6.8, 7.4, 7.9, and 17.1 years).
For patients with HL who fail ASCT, a selective use of RT provides a durable local control rate of 65% at 2 years and should be considered as part of the standard management plan for the palliation of incurable HL. Occasionally irradiation of truly localized disease can lead to long-term survival.

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