Reduced dose radiotherapy for local control in non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a randomised phase III trial.
The impact of radiotherapy in aggressive NHL is not well defined. In the NHL B-94 trial of the DSHNHL, an irradiation of bulky disease areas was done after completing 6 cycles of CHOP/CHOEP chemotherapy. In the entire patient group, including those patients with extranodal disease and those who did not receive the complete chemotherapy, bulky disease was a significant independent prognostic factor concerning recurence-free survival (66.1% (no bulk) vs. 53.5% (bulk), p=0.0001). Out of 366 patients with nodal disease only and 6 cycles of chemotherapy according to the protocol, 84 of 91 patients with bulky disease were irradiated with 36 Gy. In this group of patients the prognostic impact of bulky disease could not be shown any longer (recurrence-free survival 77.3% (no bulk) vs. 74.1% (bulk). Localized radiotherapy of bulky disease areas may therefore have contributed to an improvement in outcome in this high-risk group.