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Background: The incidence and biology of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) vary according to age. Some data suggest that the impact of age in pediatric and adolescent NHL patients depends on the histological subtype. Objectives: We aimed to analyze the impact of age at diagnosis on clinical characteristics and treatment-related toxicity in children and adolescents with NHL.
Methods: Retrospective review of medical records of children and adolescents diagnosed with NHL at the Hospital for Sick children, Toronto, between January 1995 and December 2008.
Results: 164 children were diagnosed with NHL during the study period, with a median age at diagnosis of 10 years. With a median follow-up of 6.2 years, 5-year OS in patients aged <15 and 15-18 years was 89± 2% vs 82% ± 6%, respectively (P = 0.30), and 5-year EFS was 84% ± 3% vs. 77% ± 7% (P= 0.37). In Burkitts lymphoma (BL) and lymphoblastic lymphoma (LL) there was a trend towards better outcomes in children compared to adolescents, with EFS of 91% ± 4% vs. 75% ± 15%, respectively in BL (P= 0.17), and 82% ± 7% vs. 51.4% ± 2% respectively in LL (P= 0.16). Late effects occurred in 21 patients (12.8%).
Conclusions: Children with NHL aged < 15 years tend to have better survival rates and less long-term toxicity than adolescents aged 15-18 years.
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