Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the elderly. A retrospective clinicopathologic study of 50 patients

A. Carbone, U. Tirelli, R. Volpe, V. Zagonel, R. Manconi, A. Menin, M. Trovò, E. Grigoletto

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The pathologic and clinical findings of 50 patients aged 65 or older (median, 71.5 years) with non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) are reported. These patients formed 27% of all cases of NHL seen in a single institution over a 7-year period. Forty patients presented with nodal and 10 with extranodal NHL. According to the Ann Arbor system, 20 were clinical and/or pathologic Stages I and II, and 30 were Stages III and IV; of the 10 patients presenting with extranodal NHL, 8 were Stages I and II. Histologically, 84% of the cases were of the intermediate and high-grade groups according to the Working Formulation; diffuse histiocytic was the most frequent histotype (34%) according to the Rappaport classification. The pattern was diffuse in 94% of the cases. Five patients received no treatment; treatments were conservative (monochemotherapy and/or local radiotherapy) in 19 patients and aggressive (polychemotherapy and/or extended-field radiotherapy) in 26. Four patients of the latter group died of toxicity; 22 patients died of lymphoma and 13 of other causes; the other 11 (22%) patients are still alive. The overall median survival was 2.2 years. A significantly better survival was observed in patients with Stages I and II (P <0.025) and in those with intermediate grade (P <0.05) when compared with patients having Stages III and IV and high-grade histology, respectively. Apparently, no significant difference both in response and survival was found between the groups of patients which arbitrarily underwent conservative or aggressive treatments on the basis of their general conditions. Randomized clinical trials should be designed in order to draw more significant conclusions on the correct management of elderly patients with NHL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2185-2189
Number of pages5
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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