Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Treatment

The most common treatments for Hodgkin's disease are radiation or chemotherapy and sometimes a combination of the two. Treatments may vary depending on the stage of the cancer and whether your child has reached full growth. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy involves high-dose X-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Bone marrow transplantation is being tested in patient studies for those with advanced disease.

The prospect for curing children with stage I or II disease is about 90 percent, and more than 50 percent for those with widespread disease, even children with stage IV.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It may be taken orally or may be administered into a vein or muscle by needle. Chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the drugs enter the bloodstream and can kill cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy also may be injected by needle into the fluid that surrounds the brain or back to treat certain types of lymphoma that spread to the brain.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy, which uses X-rays at high doses in a very focused beam to kill malignant cells, is very effective in treating lymphomas. The side effects of this treatment vary depending upon which area of the body is being radiated.

Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow transplant (BMT) is a newer treatment for lymphoma. Sometimes lymphoma cells become resistant to treatment with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Very high doses of chemotherapy may then be used to treat the cancer. Because the high doses of chemotherapy can destroy bone marrow, marrow is taken from the bones before treatment. The marrow is then frozen and high-dose chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy is given to treat the cancer. The marrow that was removed is then thawed and returned by needle into a vein to replace the marrow destroyed by chemotherapy. This type of transplant is called an autologous transplant. If the marrow is from another person, the transplant is called an allogeneic transplant.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Cancer & Blood Disease

Oncology Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-3831
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Treatment Center
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San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2584
Fax: (415) 353-2600
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Blood & Marrow Transplant

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program
1975 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-2188
Fax: (415) 502-4867
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