The question was raised whether routine splenectomy might, by virtue of its effects on the receipt of subsequent chemotherapy, offer long-term benefits to patients with advanced Hodgkin disease. Therefore, we compared followup data from a group of patients who were receiving mechlorethamine hydrochloride, vincristine sulfate, procarbazine hydrochloride, and prednisone (MOPP regimen) and who had had splenectomies to a group of similarly treated, carefully matched control patients on the MOPP regimen who had not had splenectomies. Our results indicate no important difference in duration of survival or long-term remission status. There was only a suggestion that splenectomy in such patients may be followed by impaired resistance to subsequent infections. Therefore, although early splenectomy can be important in the assessment of splenic disease, it must not be considered to be a therapeutic procedure per se.
(Arch Intern Med 137:341-343, 1977)