The Patterns of Care Study (PCS) surveys for Hodgkin's disease have documented important correlations between treatment processes and patient outcome. Nationwide improvements in radiotherapy for Hodgkin's disease since 1973, such as routine use of extended fields (subtotal lymphoid irradiation) in patients with early stage disease, individualized blocking, and treatment using linear accelerators, have resulted in greater freedom from relapse and overall survival for patients with stage I/II disease treated with radiotherapy alone. In addition, the introduction of computed tomography along with increased use of chemotherapy in high-risk patients has reduced the use of routine laparotomy and has improved outcome for patients with stage III disease. Overall survival for Hodgkin's disease in the national practice is excellent, reflecting the dissemination of complex treatment programs and radiation therapy technology to the oncologic community at large. Future studies of the national practice will be important in assessing the impact of managed care on workup and other facility practices, as well as evaluating the transfer of new approaches aimed at reducing treatment toxicities.
View details for DOI 10.1053/SRAO00700127
View details for PubMedID 10717207