The clinical value of tumor burden at diagnosis in Hodgkin lymphoma

Paolo G. Gobbi, Chiara Broglia, Giuseppe Di Giulio, Monica Mantelli, Paola Anselmo, Francesco Merli, Pier L. Zinzani, Gabriele Rossi, Vincenzo Callea, Emilio Iannitto, Marco Paulli, Lorena Garioni, Edoardo Ascari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. The authors investigated the clinical role of tumor burden (TB) in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, relating this parameter to most of the current clinical and prognostic factors and to the best predictive multifactorial models. METHODS. The volume of TB at diagnosis was measured directly from the initial staging computed tomography scans in 351 patients who were treated on standard protocols. The mean patient age was 34.0 years ± 16.4 years. Forty-six patients had clinical Stage I disease, 201 patients had Stage II disease, 64 patients had Stage III disease, and 40 patients had Stage IV disease. There were 146 symptomatic patients. Overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and time to treatment failure (TTF) were the time parameters evaluated in the multivariate analysis. Logistic regression was applied according to those who achieved or failed complete remission. RESULTS. The mean TB normalized to body surface area (rTB) was 137.8 cm 3/m2 ± 124.7 cm3/m2 (range, 1.9-694.5 cm3/m2). In multivariate analysis, rTB was the best predictor of TTF, DFS, and complete remission; the second best predictor of OS after patient age; and largely superior to all prognostic models analyzed. For the same stage and treatment, patients who were destined to clinical failure had an initial rTB 60-108% higher compared with the initial rTB in patients who achieved a cure, whereas differences in drug dose intensity were not significant. CONCLUSIONS. In the current study, it was found that the rTB, as a prognostic factor, was more effective than and was independent of hitherto used factors and scores. The rTB may be a tool for evaluating the curative potential of treatment combinations, allowing physicians and patients to make better therapeutic choices earlier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1824-1834
Number of pages11
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2004


  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Prognosis
  • Staging
  • Therapeutic planning
  • Tumor burden

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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