Disease overview: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is an uncommon B-cell lymphoid malignancy affecting 9,000 new patients annually and representing approximately 11% of all lymphomas in the United States.
Diagnosis: HL is composed of two distinct disease entities; the more commonly diagnosed classical HL and the rare nodular lymphocyte predominant HL. Nodular sclerosis, mixed cellularity, lymphocyte depletion, and lymphocyte-rich HL are subgroups under the designation of classical HL.
Risk stratification: An accurate assessment of the stage of disease in patients with HL is critical for the selection of the appropriate therapy. Prognostic models that identify patients at low or high risk for recurrence are used to optimize therapy for patients with limited or advanced stage disease.
Risk-adapted therapy: Initial therapy for HL patients is based on the histology of the disease, the anatomical stage and the presence of poor prognostic features. Patients with early stage disease are treated with combined modality strategies utilizing abbreviated courses of combination chemotherapy followed by involved-field radiation therapy, while those with advanced stage disease receive a longer course of chemotherapy often without radiation therapy.
Management of refractory disease: High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) followed by an autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) is the standard of care for most patients who relapse following initial therapy. For patients who fail HDCT with ASCT, brentuximab vedotin, palliative chemotherapy, non-myeloablative allogeneic transplant or participation in a clinical trial should be considered. © Am. J. Hematol. 87:1096–1103, 2012. VVC 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.