Management of malignant lymphoma in the elderly an eortc retrospective evaluation

U. Tirelli

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A retrospective Eortc study was carried out in order to evaluate the incidence, clinico-pathoiogical findings and outcome of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease in patients 70 years of age or older. A significant proportion of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, mostly with high-intermediate grade of malignancy occurs in these patients. Aggressive treatment, in particular chemotherapy with 3 drugs or more administered to elderly patients 70 years or older, median age 77 years, is associated with significant lethal and severe toxicity. Prospective randomized studies are clearly needed in order to evaluate the activity and the toxicity of intensive chemotherapy regimens specifically devised for patients aged 70 years or older with unfavourable non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin's disease is unfrequently (5% seen in patients 70 years of age or older. Mixed cellularity, B symptoms and stage III and IV account for 50, 47 and 47% of the cases respectively. Aggressive treatment is not associated with an increased lethal and severe toxicity compared with conservative treatment although 1 patient died of bone marrow toxicity after MOPP. Survival of patients 70 years or more with Hodgkin's disease seen in 1984 seems shorter than that in younger patients, especially due to high incidence of unfavourable prognostic factors, such as B symptoms and advanced stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-201
Number of pages3
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989


  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Old patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Hematology


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