Radiotherapy for lymphoma treatment linked to mesothelioma

1 Mar 2018 by under Research/Treatment

120131 F ML202 100 1 100x100 Radiotherapy for lymphoma treatment linked to mesotheliomaPeople with lymphoma who undergo therapy are more likely to develop malignant mesothelioma, especially if they were diagnosed before 1995 and were younger at the time of diagnosis, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control.

Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, has been used as a cancer treatment since the 1950s. The treatment involves using ionizing radiation to control or kill malignant cells. But it also can cause changes in healthy cells that can lead to other forms of cancer.

is an aggressive form of cancer that affects the tissue that lines the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs. The disease is caused by asbestos exposure. There is no cure for , and those diagnosed with the disease have a very poor prognosis.

The research, titled “Therapeutic radiation for lymphoma: risk of malignant mesothelioma,” is the latest of a string of studies that have found a greater prevalence of mesothelioma among cancer patients who have undergone radiotherapy compared to cancer patients who did not undergo the treatment.

The study, conducted by researchers at SRI Biosciences’ Center for Health Sciences California, used data from Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors and assessed their risk of developing mesothelioma. They found that 41 percent of Hodgkin lymphoma patients received radiation during their treatment compared to 21 percent of non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Among them, 0.039 percent developed malignant mesothelioma. Comparatively, 0.026 percent of patients who did not receive radiation therapy developed mesothelioma. After adjusting for various factors, the research team determined that lymphoma patients who had received radiation therapy had a 64 percent greater chance of being diagnosed with the disease.

Patients who were younger than 40 years of age when they were diagnosed also had a greater risk of developing the mesothelioma, as were those whose cancer had been dormant for at least a decade. Additionally, patients who were diagnosed with lymphoma before 1995 were 2.6 times more likely to develop the deadly lung disease compared to those diagnosed after 1995.

“Our results offer greater insight into how radiotherapy-induced mesothelioma varies by demographic and treatment characteristics, thereby shedding greater light on the epidemiology of this uncommon and lethal cancer,” the researchers concluded.

Source: Mesothelioma Research News

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