KINGSTON, Ontario, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Patients with limited stage Hodgkin's lymphoma improve their chance of long-term survival with chemotherapy not radiation treatment, Canadian researchers say.
Dr. Ralph Meyer, professor of oncology at Queen's University and director of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group, said patients diagnosed with Stage 1A or Stage 2A Hodgkin's lymphoma were treated previously with chemotherapy and extensive radiation. However, the combination often results in long term-complications from radiation exposure including heart conditions or subsequent cancers, Meyer said.
The study proves chemotherapy alone increases survival rates in the early stages of the disease. The trial began in 1994 and has recently undergone its final analysis, Meyer said.
"Today's practices incorporate reduced amounts of radiation as compared with those tested in the trial, but the results demonstrate chemotherapy alone will be a preferred option for many patients," the study said.
The findings were published online in the New England Journal of Medicine and Meyer presented the results at the American Society of Hematology conference in San Diego.