Article

Current Treatment Options in Oncology

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 283-290

First online:

New treatments for Hodgkin’s disease

  • Jan-Peter GlossmannAffiliated withFirst Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Cologne
  • , Andreas JostingAffiliated withFirst Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Cologne
  • , Volker DiehlAffiliated withFirst Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Cologne

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Opinion statement

Four of five patients with Hodgkin’s disease (HD) will be cured with modern treatment strategies, depending on stage and risk factor profile. In early stage favorable HD, cure rates are greater than 90% with extended field (EF) irradiation, the standard treatment. However, the concept of EF irradiation therapy is being abandoned by most study groups because of the recognition of fatal long-term effects, especially the high rates of second solid tumors. Newer approaches include mild chemotherapy combined with involved field (IF) irradiation to control occult disease. Combined modality is the treatment of choice in early stages unfavorable (intermediate) HD, in which EF irradiation is substituted by IF irradiation. In the last three decades, because of the high relapse rates (30%–50%) after first-line polychemotherapy, the standard regimens were often modified. However, until recently, these efforts could not change the relatively poor outcome for patients with advanced stage disease. The introduction of a new dose-intensified regimen (BEACOPP) has significantly improved the prognosis for patients with advanced HD. Patients who relapse after radiation therapy alone for early stage HD have satisfactory results with combination chemotherapy and are not considered as candidates for high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation. For patients with relapsed HD after combination chemotherapy, the data support the use of high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation.