Outlook improves for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma over past decade

Mar 10, 2008

Five- and 10-year survival rates for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma appear to have increased from the 1990s to the early 21st century, according to a report in the March 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma includes several cancers of the immune system that occur in approximately 20.4 of every 100,000 individuals, according to background information in the article. Treatment for the condition has evolved rapidly in recent years.

Dianne Pulte, M.D., of the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, and colleagues analyzed data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Survival rates were calculated based on two-year time periods between 1990 and 2004 within which patients were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as by age group (15 to 44, 45 to 54, 55 to 64, 65 to 74 and 75 years or older), sex, race, tumor location (i.e. whether the disease was nodal [in the lymph nodes] or extranodal [in a site other than the lymph nodes]) and histologic subtype (to classify tumors as high-grade or low-grade).

“Overall, five-year relative survival increased from 50.4 percent to 66.8 percent, and 10-year relative survival increased from 39.4 percent to 56.3 percent between 1990 to 1992 and 2002 to 2004,” the authors write. “Improvements were most pronounced in patients younger than 45 years (plus 26.8 and plus 27.1 percentage points for five- and 10-year survival, respectively), but improvements were seen in all age groups, in both sexes, in both nodal and extranodal disease and in both low-grade and high-grade disease. Improvements in prognosis were less in black patients than in white patients, especially in younger black patients.”

Two factors may explain these improvements, the authors note. “One is advances in therapy that have occurred between 1990 and 2004, particularly the introduction of antibody therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” they write. “Treatment with antibody therapy and chemotherapy has extended life expectancy in many cases, but whether and how often this extension represents a true cure is still unknown.” In addition, improvements in the treatment of HIV have reduced the occurrence of HIV-related non-Hodgkin lymphomas and also made them easier to treat.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Studies of nonoperative tx for discogenic back pain lacking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Twitter admits to diversity problem in workforce

2 hours ago

(AP)—Twitter acknowledged Wednesday that it has been hiring too many white and Asian men to fill high-paying technology jobs, just like several other major companies in Silicon Valley.

Recommended for you

Experts call for stepped-up hepatitis battle

3 hours ago

The world can beat the cancer-causing disease hepatitis if it raises its game, but treatment programmes need to go hand in hand with those tackling the likes of HIV, experts said Thursday.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

herpesdate
not rated yet Mar 11, 2008
HIV people at STDromance.com hope there is a cure