Quality of life in adolescent and young adult Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivors

Ye.G. Arshanskaya1,2, S.V. Semochkin2,3, and A.G. Rumyantsev2,3

1 S.P. Botkin City Clinical Hospital, Moscow, Russian Federation

2 Federal Clinical-and-Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Immunology n.a. Dmitriy Rogachev, Moscow, Russian Federation

3 N.I. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, RF Ministry of Health, Moscow, Russian Federation


Background. Deterioration of quality of life (QoL) and late complications of antitumor therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) are the important medical issues, since they mostly relate to young patients with a high life-expectancy.

Objective. The study was to compare QoL of HL survivors versus healthy young adults.

Methods. 56 (22 males and 34 females) HL survivors with a median age of 27.5 (range 22–41) were evaluated. For the purpose of comparison, 94 (44 males and 50 females) healthy subjects with a median age of 28.0 (range 22–46) were enrolled into the study of QoL. All HL survivors were treated in our hospital according to the modified pediatric protocol DAL-HD-90 in 1997–2007. QoL was assessed using the Short Form 36 (SF-36) which enabled generating 8 separate scales and 2 final scores (0 = worst possible health, 100 = best possible health). All survivors were in complete remission of HL for ³ 5 years.

Results. The HL survivors had the lower scores than the normal controls according to all scales and SF-36. Statistically significant differences were found in: general health — 53.4 (95 %CI 47.8–59.1) vs. 72.3 (68.8–75.8; < 0,001), vitality — 54.7 (50.4–59.1) vs. 72.2 (69.3–75.2; < 0.001), and mental health — 57.4 (53.5–61.4) vs. 71.7 (68.6–74.8; < 0.001). The patients at the age ³ 18.5 years (ROC-curves; = 0.047) at the time of HL diagnosis had poorer QoL when compared to younger patients with respect to: general health — 48.3 (41.3–55.2) vs. 60.9 (51.6–70.2; = 0.027): vitality — 50.3 (44.7–55.9) vs. 61.1 (51.6–70.2; = 0.013). The patients with the unfavorable events including relapse (n = 6) and second malignancy (n = 2) showed the lowest scores of QoL, especially in physical role performance [34.4 (2.6–71.3) vs. 79.7 (77.8–89.6; = 0.002)] and emotional role performance [25.0 (7.5–57.5) vs. 77.8 (67.1–88.4; < 0.001)]. Duration of remission, age at the QoL evaluation, gender, therapy intensity (2, 4, or 6 cycles of primary chemotherapy plus radiotherapy), Ann-Arbor stages, bulky disease, current married status, and education levels showed no significant influence on the QoL parameters.

Conclusion. Long-term HL survivors had poorer physical and mental QoL than the general population of young adults. The age at the time of LH diagnosis ³ 18.5 years was associated with significantly reduced QoL. The relapsed HL and second malignancies were mostly associated with the deterioration of physical and emotional role functioning that may indicate uncertainty of patients about future well-being.

Keywords: Hodgkin’s lymphoma, quality of life, adolescents, young adults, DAL-HD-90, SF-36

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