Young Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivors Slow in Getting Post-Treatment Care, Study Finds

Young Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivors Slow in Getting Post-Treatment Care, Study Finds

Fewer than half of adolescent and young adult Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivors receive all the care recommended for their condition in the first year after treatment, a study to be presented at the upcoming Cancer Survivorship Symposium reported.

Within the first five post-treatment years, however, nearly all the patients had attended recommended oncology schedules and 70% underwent recommended laboratory examinations. The study is titled Use of recommended post-treatment services for adolescent and young adult Hodgkin lymphoma survivors.”

“Patients treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma are at high risk for recurrence and relapse, as well as serious long-term and late effects,” Erin E. Hahn, PhD, MPH, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, California, said in a press release. “We need a systematic way to deliver post-treatment care, including screening for late effects of treatment. Studies like this will help inform the design of survivorship care programs that address all our patients’ needs.”

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has issued post-treatment guidelines for adolescent and young adult (AYA) Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) survivors, but adherence to those guidelines has not been studied. To identify AYA Hodgkin survivors from an integrated healthcare system and examine the use of post-treatment services, Dr. Hahn and co-researchers gathered data on 354 patients, ages 15 to 39, diagnosed with HL between 2000 and 2010 (59% diagnosed at stage 2). Use of NCCN recommended services (oncology visits, labs, CT) and non-recommended services (PET scan, CT after first year) were identified.

Results revealed that almost all AYA HL survivors attended the recommended oncology visits within the first five years (96%), with 70% receiving recommended labs and two-thirds receiving a recommended CT scan within 12 months post-treatment. Another 47% received a non-recommended CT in the second year, and 35% in the third year, and 33% received non-recommended PET scans.

Overall, only 48% received all recommended care within the first 12 months. Importantly, patients diagnosed between 2000 and 2005 were less likely to receive recommended care than those diagnosed between 2006 and 2010.

“Ultimately, we want to make sure that these patients receive optimal care so that they can achieve optimal health outcomes,” Dr. Hahn said. “We have the opportunity to improve longer-term use of services. There is a need to improve care delivery, and our next steps are to think about designing and implementing systematic programs to address these needs.”

The symposium is set for Jan. 15-16, 2016, in San Francisco.

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