Characteristics and Outcomes of Older Patients With Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma: An Australasian Lymphoma Alliance, and Lymphoma and Related Diseases Registry Study

Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma, Leukemia

May 2023


Background: There is no standard front-line therapy for older patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). We analyzed the clinical presentation and front-line management of older Australian patients with cHL and explored factors associated with unplanned hospital admission and survival.

Methods: Patients aged ≥ 61 years and diagnosed between 2011 and 2020, were retrospectively identified through the Lymphoma and Related Diseases Registry (LaRDR) and Australasian Lymphoma Alliance (ALA) institutional databases. Descriptive statistics and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses were performed using STATA-v17.

Results: 195 patients were identified, 72 from LaRDR,123 from ALA. Median age of the combined cohort was 72 years (range 61-93); 56.4% male, 35.3% had stage I-II, bulk present in 9.2%, 33.9% had extra-nodal disease and 48.2% had B-symptoms. Chemotherapy was commenced in 91.3% of patients, with an anthracycline-based regimen used in 81%. Median number of cycles given for stage I-II was 2 and for stage III-IV was 6. Radiotherapy was administered in 26.2% of patients. A complete remission to front-line chemotherapy was achieved in 60.7% of patients. During front-line therapy in the ALA cohort, 89 unplanned hospitalizations occurred in 58 patients, with infection accounting for 59.6% of admissions. Treatment-related mortality was 5.2%. Only performance status and anthracycline use correlated with unplanned hospitalizations. Estimated 2-year progression free survival was 63.7% and 2-year overall survival was 71.2%. Anthracycline use and younger age were independently associated with improved survival.

Conclusion: The management of older patients with cHL in Australia is diverse but aligns with international data. Anthracycline-based therapy improved survival but resulted in frequent unplanned hospitalizations.

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