Lymphoma cases referred to the radiation oncology service of a tertiary Referral University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan: A retrospective study

Ahmed Nadeem Abbasi, Sumaiya Zahid, Farrok Karsan, Nasir Ali, Yasmin Bhurgri

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Introduction: Radiation therapy is an important component of curative therapy for Lymphoma [Hodgkin's disease (HD) and non Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)]. The current study was conducted to give us an overview of lymphoma patients presenting to a tertiary care hospital for complementary adjuvant RT. Method: Data of lymphoma patients who underwent radiotherapy during February 2006 till August 2009 at the department of radiation oncology, Aga Khan University, Hospital, Karachi was retrieved from the medical records and analyzed using SPSS (version 16.0). Results: A total of 1,678 cancer patients were registered, 75 (0.45%) were lymphoma patients (25.3% HD; 74.7% NHL). HD and NHL were both seen predominantly in males, with a male:female ratio of 2 and 3 respectively. Nodal HD comprised 94.7% and nodal NHL comprised 41.1%. Extranodal NHL (EN-NHL) comprised 53.6% whereas 5.4% cases had both nodal and EN-NHL; 6.7% of EN-NHL were primary CNS lymphomas. Stages of presentation for HD were IIA (52.6%), 1A (21.1%), IIB (10.5%) and IB, IIIB and IVA collectively 15.9%. The ages of HD patients ranged from 11 to 54 years (median 23.5 years ± 13.2 SD). Response to therapy for HD was 52.6% complete remission, 36.8% partial response, and 5.3% each with stable and progressive disease. Almost all patients (94.7%) received radical treatment with radiation doses (between 1950 cG to 5404 cGy) with a median of 40 Grays.Stages at presentation for NHL were II (23.2%), IV (21.4%) and IE (17.9%); I, IIE, and III were found to be 12.5 %. NHL patients ranged from 15 to 88 years. It was more commonly observed amongst the elderly with 25% diagnosed in the fifth decade of life; 50% patients aged at or above 50 years, 41.1% belonged to the 25-49 years age group and 8.9% below 25 years of age. Majority of the cases were diffuse NHL (82.1%), follicular NHL (7.1%), 'Primary CNS unclassified type (8.9%), and unclassified other than CNS variety (1.8%). Response to chemotherapy for NHL was 51.8% complete remission, 25.9% progressive disease, 20.4% partial response. Forty (71.4%) with NHL received radical treatment with radiation doses between 2340 cG to 6600 cGy; 28.6% received palliative RT. Conclusion: Radiation therapy, though important for cure of lymphoma, is relatively underutilized in our population, despite encouraging outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-110
Number of pages4
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Lymphoma cases
  • Non Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Stage
  • Treatment


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