Medical treatments for Hodgkin’s disease

Treatment depends on stage of cancer. Indeed, we distinguish 4 stages in Hodgkin’s disease. Stage I is the mildest form and stage IV is the most advanced form of the disease. Each stage is divided into (A) or (B), (A) meaning that there are no general symptoms and (B) depending on whether there are general symptoms.

Stade I. The cancer is still confined within a single group of lymph nodes on one side of the thoracic diaphragm.

Medical treatments for Hodgkin’s disease: understand it all in 2 min

Stage II. The cancer has spread through the lymphatic system, remaining on only one side of the diaphragm.

Stage III. The cancer has spread through the lymphatic system, above and below the diaphragm.

Stage IV. The cancer has spread beyond the lymphatic system to some organs.

Treatment is mainly based on chemotherapy even for the early stages. This involves rapidly reducing the tumor mass, then supplementing with radiotherapy on residual tumor masses. Chemotherapy is therefore essential at all stages.

For the early stages the cycles of chemotherapy are reduced (around 2) for the more advanced stages they are more numerous (up to 8).

Likewise, radiotherapy doses vary depending on the stage. It is sometimes no longer performed at the early stage by some teams.

Notes. Radiotherapy treatments for maladie hodgkin increase the risk of other types of c, especially breast cancer and lung cancer. As the increased risk of breast cancer is higher for young girls and women under 30, radiation therapy is less recommended as a standard treatment for this specific group.

The various chemotherapy treatment protocols are often designated by the initials of the products used. Here are the two most common:

  • ABVD : doxorubicine (Adriamycine), bléomycine, vinblastine, dacarbazine;
  • MOPP-ABV : méchloréthamine, Oncovin, procarbazine, prednisone-adriablastine, bléomycine et vinblastine


If one relapse occurs after chemotherapy treatment, there are other so-called “second-line” protocols with precise and repeated evaluation of efficacy during treatment. These treatments can possibly damage the bone marrow. It is then sometimes necessary to carry out a autologous transplant : The bone marrow of a person with Hodgkin’s disease is often removed before chemotherapy and then reintroduced into the body if necessary.

Up to 95% of people diagnosed with stage I or II are still alive 5 years after diagnosis. In more advanced cases, the 5-year survival rate is still around 70%.

Leave a Reply