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High incidence of fractures after R-CHOP-like chemotherapy for aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

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Patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have a median age of 67, with 70% surviving over 5 years. Chemotherapy for aggressive NHL includes cyclophosphamide, anthracycline, and high doses of corticosteroids, which can impair bone health. By reviewing clinical characteristics and standard-of-care CT scans, we evaluate the prevalence and incidence of fractures and the clinical correlates of fractures in patients treated for aggressive B-cell NHL.


We retrospectively reviewed patients seen at the University of California San Francisco lymphoma clinic from January 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017 who had (1) aggressive B-cell NHL, (2) received first-line therapy with R-CHOP-like regimens, and had (3) CT scans pre- and post-treatment available for review. Associations between clinical variables and vertebral, rib, and pelvic fracture outcomes were assessed, and multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify predictors of prevalent and incident fractures.


We identified 162 patients who met the inclusion criteria. Median age at diagnosis was 60 years. Of the 162 patients, 38 patients (28%) had prevalent fractures prior to receiving chemotherapy. Within 1 year after treatment, 16 patients (10%) developed new fractures. Having a prevalent fracture strongly predicted developing a new fracture after treatment, with incident fractures occurring in 12 of 38 patients with prevalent fractures versus 4 of 124 without prevalent fractures (odds ratio 10.45, p<0.0005).


Our results suggest that patients with aggressive B-cell NHL who receive R-CHOP-like therapy should be screened for fractures prior to treatment and those with existing fractures should be considered for therapy to decrease risk of new fractures.

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