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Study finds risk of breast cancer among survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma varies by subtype of breast cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma treatment

Posted on January 18, 2018

Woman with doctor

In a new study of female survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) report on the subtypes of breast cancer most likely to develop in this high-risk population. They found that ER-negative cancers were nearly six times more common in Hodgkin lymphoma survivors than they were among the general population, compared to ER-positive cancers which were three times more common. Risk for second breast cancer varied by treatment: risk for ER-negative disease was elevated for all survivors, while only those who received radiotherapy experienced higher risk of ER-positive breast cancer. This study, the largest to describe second breast cancer incidence by subtype among survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, was published Thursday, January 18, 2018, in JAMA Oncology.

Postdoctoral fellow Diana Withrow, Ph.D., and colleagues analyzed data on more than 7,000 female Hodgkin lymphoma survivors from the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (SEER). Their results may influence the design of future studies of breast cancer among Hodgkin lymphoma survivors and highlight the importance of cancer subtype data for studies of second cancer risk more generally.

Reference: Withrow et al. Association of treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma with estrogen receptor status of subsequent breast cancers. JAMA Onc. January 18, 2018. DOI:10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.4887