“We can speak of cure for Hodgkin's disease when in time—probably a decade or so after treatment—there remains a group of disease-free survivous whose progressive death rate from all causes is similar to that of a normal population of the same age and sex constitution.” Analysis of survival curves for patients with Hodgkin's disease indicates that even for patients with Stage I and II disease there is excessive mortality per unit time as compared to the control population for at least 10 years after treatment. Thus, while the above definition is acceptable, the lag period required for the evaluation of potentially curative treatment is very long. In an attempt to determine the presence and degree of curative treatment in a shorter time, the relapse-free interval following treatment has been studied. For patients with Stage I and II disease, at least 80% of those destined to relapse do so within 4 years and in excess of 90% do so within 10 years. These are average data from a number of studies including those where case accural started in 1932 to those where case accrual started as late as 1957. For those studies where the major case accural occurred prior to lymphagiography staging, late relapses (between 4 and 10 years) are somewhat more common than in later series. This is probably because the retroperitoneal area is relatively “silent” and it may take several years for such relapses to become clinically evident. In contrast for studies wherein case accrual occurred after th eintroduction of lymphangiography, there is evidence that relapse after the 4th year is rare and may occur in less than 5% of patients. While the data are preliminary, there is evidence that the relapse-free interval of patients with Stage III and IV disease treated with total nodal radiotherapy or intensive combination chemotherapy follows a qualitatively similar curve. Finally, there is evidence that the relapse-free curve may be influenced by the histopathological type of Hodgkin's disease. Lympocyte-predominant Hodgkin's disease is cytokinetically slow moving, and late relapses would appear to be more common than for mixed cellularity and nodular sclerosis. These data plus the distribution of replapses during the first 4 years can be used to make relatively precise estimates of cure rates within 5 years following treatment. The use of such data in clinical trails is discussed.

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