Survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma have an increased risk for developing various late complications, including cardiovascular disease, a recent study published online ahead of print in the journal The Lancet Haematology has shown.1

Although cardiovascular disease after treatment is an important concern for cancer survivors, limited data exist about how treatment exposure affect cardiovascular risk in survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma.

Therefore, researchers sought to determine the effect of anthracyclines, vinca-alkaloids, and radiotherapy on the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients treated for Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Results showed that among 1919 patients who responded to a questionnaire, 703 patients reported a total of 1238 first cardiovascular events. Of those, 19% were ischemic heart disease, 12% were congestive heart failure, 16% were arrhythmia, and 11% were valvular disease.

Researchers found that a mean heart radiation dose per 1 Gy increase and the dose of anthracyclines per 50 mg/m2 increase in cumulative dose were significant predictors of cardiovascular disease, while cumulative dose of vinblastine, vincristine, or mean radiation dose to the left or right internal carotid artery did not predict for cardiovascular events.

“These study results are exciting,” principal investigator Maja V. Maraldo, MD, said. “They should allow physicians to optimize the combination of systemic therapy and radiation and thereby balance the risks and benefits of different regimens in individual patients.”2


1. Maraldo MV, Giusti F, Vogelius IR, et al. Cardiovascular disease after treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma: an analysis of nine collaborative EORTC-LYSA trials [published online ahead of print October 14, 2015]. Lancet Haematol. doi:10.1016/S2352-3026(15)00153-2

2. Late effects of treatment study continues sustained academic effort in Hodgkin’s lymphoma [news release]. EurekAlert! web site. Published November 18, 2015. Accessed November 19, 2015.