Researchers Find Link Between Body Mass Index, Outcomes for Hodgkin's Lymphoma Patients

BUFFALO, NY — Overweight or obese Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients who receive standard chemotherapy may experience poorer outcomes than those patients with body mass indices of less than 25, according to a retrospective analysis conducted by researchers at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. First author Ritesh Patil, MD, of Roswell Park’s Department of Medicine, will present the results of this analysis in a poster session, June 5, at the 46th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, IL.

Suspecting a correlation between body mass index (BMI) and clinical outcome, a research team, led by principal investigator Francisco J. Hernandez-Ilizalit, MD, Assistant Professor, Lymphoma/Myeloma Section, Department of Medicine, conducted a retrospective analysis of the effects of BMI on complete response rate, progression-free survival and overall survival in Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients treated with the standard firstline ABVD (adriamycin/bleomycin/vinblastine/dacarbazine) drug regimen.

The research team studied 137 patients treated at Roswell Park between 2000 and 2009. Their median age was 33 years, and 65% were either overweight or obese based on their BMI. Among all patients in the study, disease relapse occurred for 23.4%. Progression-free survival was 19.5% lower in patients with BMI at or above 25. While an additional 75 patients have been added to the analysis since these results were first recorded, the same trends have been observed.

The researchers concluded that incorporating pharmacodynamic modeling into multidisciplinary treatment plans may improve outcomes for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancer patients. “Based on our results, we recommend using BMI, and not ideal body weight, as a basis for dosage,” says Dr. Patil.

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit Roswell Park’s website at, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email

Editor’s note: Dr. Patil’s presentation, “Body mass index (BMI) as a predictor of clinical outcome in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma treated with ABVD,” will be included in the Lymphoma and Plasma Cell Disorders general poster session Saturday, June 5, 2010 in S Hall 2 of McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, from 8 am to noon.


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