Radiation therapy for primary orbital lymphoma

Cliff K.S. Chao, Hsiu san Lin, V. Rao Devineni, Morton Smith

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    64 Scopus citations


    Purpose: The influence of tumor size, grade, thoroughness of staging workup, and radiation dose on disease control, radiation-related complications, and incidence of systemic progression of primary orbital lymphoma is analyzed. Methods and Materials: Twenty patients with Stage I primary orbital lymphoma were treated from August 1976 through August 1991 at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. Staging workups included physical examination, chest x-ray, complete blood count (CBC), liver function test, and computerized tomography (CT) scan of the orbit, abdomen, and pelvis. Nineteen patients had bone marrow biopsy. The histological types based on the National Cancer Institute working formulation were 9 low-grade and 11 intermediate-grade, including five lymphocytic lymphomas of intermediate differentiation. The extension of disease and the volume of tumor were evaluated by CT scan of the orbit. The most commonly used radiation therapy technique was single anterior direct field with 4 MV or 6 MV photons. Lens was shielded or not treated in eight patients. Dose ranged from 20 to 43.2 Gy. Thirteen of 20 patients received 30 Gy. Minimum follow-up was 24 months (median, 4 years). Results: Local control was achieved in all 20 patients. One patient with lymphocytic lymphoma with intermediate differentiation developed disseminated disease. Actuarial disease-free survival (DFS) was 100% and 90% at 2 and 5 years, respectively. No retinopathy was observed. Cataracts were noted in seven patients at 1 to 10 years following irradiation (median, 2 years). Three patients developed lacrimal function disorder, however, no corneal ulceration occurred. Conclusions: Thirty Gy in 15 fractions appears to be a sufficient dose for local control with acceptable morbidity, especially for low-grade, as well as certain types of intermediate-grade lymphomas, such as diffuse small cleaved cell and lymphocytic lymphoma of intermediate differentiation. Systemic dissemination is minimal, provided local control is achieved and initial staging workups are adequate.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)929-934
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Feb 15 1995


    • Malignant lymphoma
    • Primary orbital lymphma
    • Treatment outcome.


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