Second primary cancers in non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Family history and survival

Subhayan Chattopadhyay, Guoqiao Zheng, Amit Sud, Kristina Sundquist, Jan Sundquist, Asta Försti, Richard Houlston, Akseli Hemminki, Kari Hemminki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Second primary cancers (SPCs) account for an increasing proportion of all cancer diagnoses and family history of cancer may be a risk factor for SPCs. Using the Swedish Family-Cancer Database on non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), we assessed the influence of family history on risk of SPCs and of SPCs on survival. NHL patients were identified from the years 1958 to 2015 and generalized Poisson models were used to calculate relative risks (RRs) for SPCs and familial SPCs. Among 14,393 NHL patients, a total of 1,866 (13.0%) were diagnosed with SPC. Familial risk of nine particular cancers was associated with risks of these cancers as SPCs, with twofold to fivefold increase in RRs. At the end of a 25-year follow-up period, the survival probability for persons with SPC was only 20% of that for patients without SPC; the hazard ratio for SPC was 1.59 (95% CI: 1.46–1.72). Survival could be predicted by the prognostic groups based on first cancers and HRs increase systematically with worse prognosis yielding a trend of p = 4.6 × 10−5. SPCs had deleterious consequences for survival in NHL patients. Family history was associated with increasing numbers of SPCs. Prevention of SPCs and their early detection is an important target in the overall strategy to improve survival in NHL patients. Counseling for avoidance of risk factors and targeted screening based on family history are feasible steps in risk reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-976
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2020


  • familial risk
  • prevention
  • prognostic grouping
  • second cancers
  • survival


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