Decision analysis on alternative treatment strategies for favorable- prognosis, early-stage Hodgkin's disease

Andrea K. Ng, Jane C. Weeks, Peter M. Mauch, Karen M. Kuntz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the therapeutic outcomes of various treatment strategies in early-stage, favorable-prognosis Hodgkin's disease (HD) using methods of decision analysis. Methods: We constructed a decision-analytic model to determine the life expectancy and quality-adjusted life expectancy for a hypothetical cohort of clinically or pathologically staged 25-year-old patients with early-stage, favorable-prognosis HD treated with varying degrees of initial therapy. Markov models were used to simulate the lifetime clinical course of patients, and baseline probability estimates were derived from published study results. Results: Among patients with pathologic stage (PS) I to II, mantle and para-aortic (MPA) radiotherapy was favored over combined-modality therapy (CMT), mantle radiotherapy, and chemotherapy by 1.18, 1.33, and 1.55 years, respectively. For patients with clinical stage (CS) I to II, the treatment options of MPA-splenic radiotherapy, CMT, and chemotherapy yielded similar survival outcomes. Sensitivity analysis showed that the decision between CMT and MPA-splenic radiotherapy was highly influenced by the precise values of the estimates of treatment efficacy and long-term morbidity, the quality-of-life value assigned to the postsplenic irradiation state, and the time discount value used in the model. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis demonstrated that even if future studies doubled the precision of the estimates of the treatment-related variables, it would be impossible to demonstrate the superiority of one treatment over the other. Conclusion: Our model predicted that on average, MPA radiotherapy was clearly the preferred treatment for PS I to II patients. For CS I to II patients the treatment decision is a toss-up between MPA-splenic radiotherapy and CMT, emphasizing the importance of patient preference exploration and shared decision making between patient and physician when choosing between treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3577-3585
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


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