Severe fatigue is associated with unemployment and financial problems in survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, highlighting the need for clinicians to address fatigue in these patients, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Because cancer-related fatigue is frequently reported in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and has a substantial negative impact on quality of life, researchers sought to evaluate whether severe fatigue affects patients’ treatment outcome and social reintegration.

For the study, investigators analyzed data from 4529 patients younger than 60 years with Hodgkin lymphoma enrolled in the German Hodgkin Study Group’s fifth generation of clinical trials in Hodgkin lymphoma (HD13, HD14, and HD15). Severe fatigue was assessed using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 before and up to 9 years after therapy.

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At baseline, 37% of patients reported severe fatigue, with 20% to 24% reporting severe fatigue during follow-up. Investigators found that baseline severe fatigue was associated with impaired progression-free survival and also observed a trend toward impaired overall survival.

Results further showed that severe fatigue was associated with unemployment at 5 years after therapy, with 63% and 51% of male and female survivors with severe fatigue working or in professional education compared with 90% and 78% without severe fatigue, respectively (P < .001).

The study also demonstrated that severe fatigue was associated with financial problems and the number of visits to a primary care physician and medical specialists.


1. Behringer K, Goergen H, Muller H, et al. Cancer-related fatigue in patients with and survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma: the impact on treatment outcome and social reintegration. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Oct 3. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.67.450. [Epub ahead of print]