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CA Cancer J Clin. 2018 Mar;68(2):116-132. doi: 10.3322/caac.21438. Epub 2017 Dec 1.

Hodgkin lymphoma: A review and update on recent progress.

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Assistant Professor of Medicine, Departments of Medicine and Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
Director, Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Professor of Oncology, Departments of Medicine and Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.


Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a unique hematopoietic neoplasm characterized by cancerous Reed-Sternberg cells in an inflammatory background. Patients are commonly diagnosed with HL in their 20s and 30s, and they present with supradiaphragmatic lymphadenopathy, often with systemic B symptoms. Even in advanced-stage disease, HL is highly curable with combination chemotherapy, radiation, or combined-modality treatment. Although the same doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine chemotherapeutic regimen has been the mainstay of therapy over the last 30 years, risk-adapted approaches have helped de-escalate therapy in low-risk patients while intensifying treatment for higher risk patients. Even patients who are not cured with initial therapy can often be salvaged with alternate chemotherapy combinations, the novel antibody-drug conjugate brentuximab, or high-dose autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The programmed death-1 inhibitors nivolumab and pembrolizumab have both demonstrated high response rates and durable remissions in patients with relapsed/refractory HL. Alternate donor sources and reduced-intensity conditioning have made allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation a viable option for more patients. Future research will look to integrate novel strategies into earlier lines of therapy to improve the HL cure rate and minimize long-term treatment toxicities. CA Cancer J Clin 2018;68:116-132.


Hodgkin lymphoma; allogeneic stem cell transplantation; antibody-drug conjugate; brentuximab; immunotherapy; positron emission tomography (PET)-adapted therapy; programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibitor

[Available on 2019-03-01]
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