Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size

    Adult Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Early Favorable Hodgkin Lymphoma


    The German Hodgkin Lymphoma Study Group (GHSG) randomly assigned 1,190 patients with early favorable HL to the following:

    • Two cycles of ABVD plus 30 Gy of IF-XRT.
    • Two cycles of ABVD plus 20 Gy of IF-XRT.
    • Four cycles of ABVD plus 30 Gy of IF-XRT.
    • Four cycles of ABVD plus 20 Gy of IF-XRT.

    With a 7.6-year median follow-up, no differences were observed in freedom-from-progression (97%) or OS (98%) for all four groups.[10][Level of evidence: 1iiA]

    The ongoing GHSG study is comparing reduced chemotherapy schedules while maintaining IF-XRT at 30 Gy: two cycles of ABVD, two cycles of ABV, two cycles of AVD, or two cycles of AV.

    A specialized approach to therapy can be taken when patients with nonbulky lymphocyte-predominant disease presenting in unilateral high neck (above the thyroid notch) or epitrochlear locations require only IF-XRT after clinical staging.[11] A retrospective report of 426 cases of lymphocyte-predominant HL (including the so-called nodular lymphocyte-predominant and lymphocyte-rich classical subtypes) showed that more patients died of treatment-related toxicity (both acute and long term) than from recurrence of HL.[12][Level of evidence: 3iiiA] Limitation of radiation dose and radiation fields and avoidance of leukemogenic chemotherapeutic agents, along with watchful waiting policies, should be investigated for these subgroups.[13] Patients with nonbulky nodular sclerosing disease presenting in the anterior mediastinum only after clinical staging also do well with mantle radiation alone.[14]

    Treatment options include the following:

    • ABVD for four to six cycles.[7]
    • ABVD for two cycles plus IF-XRT (20 Gy or 30 Gy).
    • Radiation therapy alone in special circumstances.[15]

    Current Clinical Trials

    Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I adult Hodgkin lymphoma and stage II adult Hodgkin lymphoma. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

    General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


    1. Fermé C, Eghbali H, Meerwaldt JH, et al.: Chemotherapy plus involved-field radiation in early-stage Hodgkin's disease. N Engl J Med 357 (19): 1916-27, 2007.
    2. Dores GM, Metayer C, Curtis RE, et al.: Second malignant neoplasms among long-term survivors of Hodgkin's disease: a population-based evaluation over 25 years. J Clin Oncol 20 (16): 3484-94, 2002.
    3. Reinders JG, Heijmen BJ, Olofsen-van Acht MJ, et al.: Ischemic heart disease after mantlefield irradiation for Hodgkin's disease in long-term follow-up. Radiother Oncol 51 (1): 35-42, 1999.
    4. Longo DL: Radiation therapy in Hodgkin disease: why risk a Pyrrhic victory? J Natl Cancer Inst 97 (19): 1394-5, 2005.
    5. Swerdlow AJ, Higgins CD, Smith P, et al.: Myocardial infarction mortality risk after treatment for Hodgkin disease: a collaborative British cohort study. J Natl Cancer Inst 99 (3): 206-14, 2007.
    6. Engert A, Franklin J, Eich HT, et al.: Two cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine plus extended-field radiotherapy is superior to radiotherapy alone in early favorable Hodgkin's lymphoma: final results of the GHSG HD7 trial. J Clin Oncol 25 (23): 3495-502, 2007.
    7. Canellos GP, Abramson JS, Fisher DC, et al.: Treatment of favorable, limited-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma with chemotherapy without consolidation by radiation therapy. J Clin Oncol 28 (9): 1611-5, 2010.
    8. Meyer RM, Gospodarowicz MK, Connors JM, et al.: ABVD alone versus radiation-based therapy in limited-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma. N Engl J Med 366 (5): 399-408, 2012.
    9. Bonadonna G, Bonfante V, Viviani S, et al.: ABVD plus subtotal nodal versus involved-field radiotherapy in early-stage Hodgkin's disease: long-term results. J Clin Oncol 22 (14): 2835-41, 2004.
    10. Engert A, Plütschow A, Eich HT, et al.: Reduced treatment intensity in patients with early-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma. N Engl J Med 363 (7): 640-52, 2010.
    11. Russell KJ, Hoppe RT, Colby TV, et al.: Lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's disease: clinical presentation and results of treatment. Radiother Oncol 1 (3): 197-205, 1984.
    12. Diehl V, Sextro M, Franklin J, et al.: Clinical presentation, course, and prognostic factors in lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's disease and lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's disease: report from the European Task Force on Lymphoma Project on Lymphocyte-Predominant Hodgkin's Disease. J Clin Oncol 17 (3): 776-83, 1999.
    13. Aster JC: Lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's disease: how little therapy is enough? J Clin Oncol 17 (3): 744-6, 1999.
    14. Backstrand KH, Ng AK, Takvorian RW, et al.: Results of a prospective trial of mantle irradiation alone for selected patients with early-stage Hodgkin's disease. J Clin Oncol 19 (3): 736-41, 2001.
    15. Landgren O, Axdorph U, Fears TR, et al.: A population-based cohort study on early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma treated with radiotherapy alone: with special reference to older patients. Ann Oncol 17 (8): 1290-5, 2006.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1 | 2
    1 | 2
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man holding lung xray
    What you need to know.
    stem cells
    How they work for blood cancers.
    woman wearing pink ribbon
    Separate fact from fiction.
    Colorectal cancer cells
    Symptoms, screening tests, and more.
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    what is your cancer risk
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    prostate cancer overview
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    Actor Michael Douglas