Introduction Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) has become the prototype of a curable disease. However, many young survivors suffer from late adverse effects of treatment. Both chemotherapy (CT) and radiotherapy (RT) may induce primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), which has been associated with reduced bone mineral density (BMD), neurocognitive dysfunction and possibly cardiovascular disease (CVD). While the general assumption is that POI increases CVD risk, other hypotheses postulate reverse causality, suggesting that cardiovascular risk factors determine menopausal age or that biological ageing underlies both POI and CVD risk. None of these hypotheses are supported by convincing evidence. Furthermore, most studies on POI-associated conditions have been conducted in women with early natural or surgery-induced menopause with short follow-up times. In this study, we will examine the long-term effects of CT-induced and/or RT-induced POI on BMD, cardiovascular status, neurocognitive function and quality of life in female HL survivors.

Methods and analysis This study will be performed within an existing Dutch cohort of HL survivors. Eligible women were treated for HL at ages 15–39 years in three large hospitals since 1965 and survived for ≥8 years after their diagnosis. Women visiting a survivorship care outpatient clinic will be invited for a neurocognitive, cardiovascular and BMD assessment, and asked to complete several questionnaires and to provide a blood sample. Using multivariable regression analyses, we will compare the outcomes of HL survivors who developed POI with those who did not. Cardiovascular status will also be compared with women with natural POI.

Ethics and dissemination This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Netherlands Cancer Institute and has been registered at ‘Toetsingonline’ from the Dutch Central Committee on Research involving Human Subjects (file no. NL44714.031.13). Results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and will be incorporated in follow-up guidelines for HL survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere018120
Pages (from-to)e018120
Number of pages14
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging/physiology
  • Antineoplastic Agents/adverse effects
  • Bone Density
  • Cancer Survivors/statistics & numerical data
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease/therapy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency/complications
  • Quality of Life
  • Radiotherapy/adverse effects
  • Research Design
  • Young Adult

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