Studies Provide Clues to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Risk and Prognosis, According to the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center

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Two new studies in major medical journals may help doctors understand how Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma starts, and predict treatment outcomes.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - Risks & Prognosis

BMI was not significantly associated with clinical outcomes...

The Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center is reporting on new research suggesting that overweight Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patients are just as likely to respond well to treatment as patients with lower BMIs. The report, published in the Annals of Oncology, is one of two new Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma risk studies.

Researchers with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston compared the failure-free survival rates of high- and normal-BMI patients who had either one of two types of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A total of 537 patients had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and 282 had follicular lymphoma – types of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. There were 730 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patients.

The authors report, “BMI was not significantly associated with clinical outcomes among patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or follicular lymphoma in three prospective Phase III clinical trials.” Because the findings contradict those found in previous studies, the authors recommend further studies to “understand the observed discrepancies.”

At the same time, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke may have an impact on Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma risk, but that the impact may be different for different types of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The study focused on 884 cases of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in men and women who had never smoked.

After adjusting for other risk factors, the researchers found that people who grew up with more smokers in the house, and who were exposed to tobacco smoke for 6 or more hours a week as an adult, had a higher risk of follicular lymphoma. In contrast, adult exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) was associated with a lower risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

“This study suggests that adult and childhood ETS exposure may affect the risk of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and that the associations differ by histological subtype,” the authors conclude.
The causes and risk factors for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphocyte cells, remain largely a mystery. Along with tobacco smoke, other environmental exposures have been implicated including hair dyes, nitrates, high-fat diets, herbicides and PCBs.

The original studies cited in this article appear in the Annals of Oncology (Hong, F, et al, “The role of body mass index in survival outcome for lymphoma patients: US intergroup experience”, March 2014, Annals of Oncology, pp. 669-674, and in the American Journal of Epidemiology (Diver, WR, et al, “Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Risk of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Nonsmoking Men and Women”, February 24, 2014, American Journal of Epidemiology, Epub ahead of print,

The Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center is part of the Cancer Monthly organization. The Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center has been established by Cancer Monthly to provide more comprehensive information on the causes, diagnosis, and treatments for the many different subtypes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For over ten years, Cancer Monthly has been the only centralized source of cancer treatment results. Patients can see the actual survival rate, quality-of-life indicators, and other key data for approximately 1,500 different cancer treatments. Cancer Monthly provides timely and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnoses and treatments of the most common cancers including Bladder, Brain, Breast, Colon, Kidney (Renal), Liver, Lung (NSCLC), Ovarian, Prostate, and Rectal Cancers, Melanoma, Mesothelioma, and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Written for patients and their loved ones, Cancer Monthly helps families make more informed treatment decisions.

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