Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatment

LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

Hodgkin lymphoma, also called Hodgkin disease, is a particular type of cancer of the lymphatic system, which is a part of the body’s immune system that works to fight off infections. The presence of a cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell is what differentiates Hodgkin lymphoma from other forms of lymphoma. This form of cancer is relatively rare, with approximately 8,400 new cases expected to be diagnosed this year 1.

There are two main forms of Hodgkin lymphoma which are referred to as classic Hodgkin disease and nodular lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin disease. Within classic Hodgkin disease, there are four different subtypes: nodular sclerosis, mixed cellularity, lymphocyte-rich and lymphocyte-depleted Hodgkin disease.

While treatment options for each type differ, they typically fall into one of more of the following categories:

Chemotherapy
Given intravenously or by mouth, a combination of one or more chemotherapy regimens called AVBD, Stanford V or BEACOPP are usually given to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. At times, chemotherapy also is given in combination with radiation therapy.
Radiation Therapy
The use of high-energy rays to kill the cancerous cells is a common treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma when the tumor is located in one main area of the body, rather than spread throughout.
Stem Cell Transplantation
If the Hodgkin lymphoma recurs or does not respond to initial treatment, a stem cell transplant may be performed. Following a regimen of high doses of chemotherapy or radiation, which are given to destroy bone marrow cells (where white blood cells develop), healthy blood-forming stem cells previously removed from the patient or a donor are given to rebuild the bone marrow that was destroyed during the chemotherapy/radiation treatment.

References

  1. National Cancer Institute, Hodgkin Lymphoma Cancer Home Page. Accessed on July 28, 2010.

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