The frequency of translocations after treatment for Hodgkin's disease

L. M. Smith, J. W. Evans, M. Mori, J. M. Brown, D. Phil

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14 Scopus citations


We studied the frequency of translocations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of patients with Hodgkin's disease to determine the extent of chromosome changes induced by radiation or radiation and chemotherapy. Comparisons were made to patients with second cancers to determine if this population is more susceptible to the effects of treatment. Group one included six patients with newly diagnosed Hodgkin's disease who were treated with radiation only. Group two included Hodgkin's disease patients who were treated 12-24 years previously and have been continuously free of disease. Five of these patients were treated with radiation only and five patients received radiation and mechlorethaminehydrochloride, oncovin, procarbazine, prednisone (MOPP) chemotherapy for six cycles. Group three included three patients who developed a second cancer after successful treatment for Hodgkin's disease. Two of these patients had a sarcoma within the radiation field and one had breast cancer. Metaphase spreads were obtained from cultured lymphocytes and hybridized with a chromosome 4 specific probe. After fluorescein staining, approximately 1000 metaphases were scored per patient. In group one only one patient in six demonstrated translocations in chromosome 4 before treatment for a mean frequency of .0009. After treatment the frequency of translocations increased to a mean of .016 (p = .036) (range .006-.034). Group two patients treated with radiation only had a mean translocation frequency of .012 (range .004-.022) in comparison to the radiation/mechlorethaminehydrochloride, oncovin, procarbazine, prednisone chemotherapy treated patients who demonstrated a mean frequency of .016 (p = .425) (range .0009-.023). The third group of second cancer patients showed inconsistent translocation frequencies of .002,.020, and .035. Of these patients, the one who demonstrated the greatest frequency of translocations (.035) was treated with mechlorethaminehydrochloride, oncovin, procarbazine, prednisone/adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, decadron) and radiation. Our data demonstrates a statistically significant increase in translocations detected after radiation. When compared to combined modality therapy a greater mean frequency of translocations is observed over radiation alone; however, this was not statistically significant. In the three patients who developed second cancers in our series we saw no consistent increase in translocation frequency compared to Hodgkin's disease patients who did not develop a second cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-742
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Hodgkin's Disease
  • Radiation
  • Translocations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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