ABSTRACT: The introduction of modern methods of combined therapy: chemotherapy and radiotherapy, allows the cure more than 90% of children and adolescents with Hodgkin's disease. However, the intensive treatment may cause early and late complications. The late complications may include: damage of soft tissues and respiratory, cardiovascular, skeletal, and endocrine systems, and second cancers. Late complications may impair the patients' quality of life after cessation of therapy. This study presents evaluation of health status of persons who underwent therapy for pediatric Hodgkin's disease in centers of Polish Pediatric Leukemia/Lymphoma Study Group. The special questionnaire was established to collect data concerning hematopoietic system function, damage of soft tissues and skeletal system, thyroid and reproductive organs function, respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous system function, liver and kidney function, status of dentition, occurrence of infections, immunologic system function, and psychological and social problems. The project included patients treated in 9 pediatric oncology centers. During the study the questionnaires of 288 patients [151 boys (52.4%) and 137 girls (47.6%)] in whom treatment of Hodgkins's disease started in 1994-1996 (44 questionnaires), and in 1997-2001 (244 questionnaires). In 42 patients no diagnostic procedures were performed. In this group 20 patients are currently under care of adult oncology clinics, 21 failed to come for a visit, and one patient is treated because of HD progression. The questionnaires of 246 patients treated in 1994-1996 (25 questionnaires) and 1997-2001 (221 questionnaires), were analyzed and the data on the late complications of these patients were obtained. General health status of examined patients was found satisfactory. However, 2.3% of patients had radiological evidence of pulmonary fibrosis, and 4.9% had various ECG abnormalities. Endocrine therapy is needed in 4.5% of patients because of thyroid function abnormalities. Second cancers were diagnosed in 1.7% of patients. The health status of children and adolescents cured from Hodgkin's disease and other childhood cancers should be regularly evaluated. Results of these evaluations will be the basis for introducing new treatment protocols aimed of decreasing the incidence of late complications while maintaining or improving cure rates.
Przegla̧d lekarski 02/2006; 63(1):25-8.