HODGKIN LYMPHOMA IN CHILDREN: A 16-YEAR EXPERIENCE AT THE CHILDREN’S WELFARE TEACHING HOSPITAL OF BAGHDAD, IRAQ

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Anna Maria Testi
Mazin Faisal Al-Jadiry
Maria Luisa Moleti
Stefania Uccini
Amir Fadhil Al-Darraij
Raghad Majid Al-Saeed
Hasanein Habeeb Ghali
Ahmed Hatem Sabhan
Samaher Abdulrazzaq Fadhil
Safaa Abdulelah Al-Badri
Adil Rabeea Alsaadawi
Ameer Dh Hameedi
Manhal Hashim Shanshal
Yasir Saadoon Al-Agele
Fatimah Abdul Ridha Al-Saffar
Nihal Khalid Yaseen
Alfonso Piciocchi
Giovanni Marsili
Salma Abbas Al-Hadad

Keywords

Hodgkin Lymphoma, Children, chemotherapy, Developing Countries

Abstract

Background. Childhood Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is an eminently curable disease. Good outcomes can be achieved even in resource-limited settings and increasingly, the focus is on limiting long-term toxicity. Contemporary treatment incorporates a risk-stratified, response-adapted approach using multiagent chemotherapy with/without low-dose radiotherapy. Many developing countries continue to use ABVD-based regimens due to limited acute toxicity, cost, and ease of delivery.


Objective. We herein report the outcomes of childhood HL diagnosed and treated in an Iraqi single-center over a 16 years period.


Methods. Children ≤14 years with biopsy-proven HL were enrolled. Most patients received ABVD chemotherapy or COPP/ABV when Dacarbazine was unavailable. Radiotherapy was not available.


Results. Three hundred-three children were consecutively newly diagnosed with HL; 284 were considered eligible for the retrospective analysis (treatment refusals 9; deaths before therapy 5; initially diagnosed of non-Hodgkin lymphoma 5). ABVD scheme was administered to 184 children (65%), COPP/ABV to 83 (29%), other schemes to the remaining 17 patients. Complete response (CR) was achieved in 277 (98%); 4 (1.4%) showed disease progression and 1 stable disease. Four patients in CR abandoned therapy and were in CR at the time of analysis, 2 died from infection. Relapse occurred in 42 patients (15%). The 15-year OS and EFS are 89.7% and 70.3%, respectively. 


Conclusion. In this single-center, over a 16-year period, almost 90% of children suffering from HL survive, despite the numerous limitations in diagnostic procedures, shortage of chemotherapy, no radiotherapy facilities, absence of effective second-line treatments and finally therapy abandonment for social and financial reasons.


 

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