Other experts were optimistic about the research.
"What is encouraging is the fact that so many patients did well without radiotherapy, which will reduce the risk these patients have of developing late complications, including secondary solid tumors, acute leukemia and cardiac disease," said Dr. Jonathan Kolitz, associate chief of hematological oncology at the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute in Lake Success, N.Y. He stressed, however, that more research needs to be done to confirm that the new approach "is truly superior to the more conventional administration" used today.
Dr. Alan Astrow is director of hematology/medical oncology at Maimonides Cancer Center in New York City. He called the findings "highly impressive results."
"It appears that radiation therapy is not required for patients with primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma who achieve a complete response after treatment with the reported chemotherapy regimen," he said.
For his part, Brody said the new results are exactly what most physicians long to see.
"Oncologists go into this business to try to save lives but, truthfully, the opportunity to save the lives of young, healthy people, and give them back a whole lifetime of quality time . . . is particularly gratifying," Brody said.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society provides more information on lymphoma.
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SOURCES: Alan B. Astrow, M.D., director, hematology/medical oncology, Maimonides Cancer Center, New York City; Joshua Brody, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Jonathan Kolitz, M.D., associate chief, hematological oncology, North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute, Lake Success, N.Y.; U.S. National Cancer Institute, news releas
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