Hodgkin lymphoma: A review and update on recent progress

Satish Shanbhag, Richard F. Ambinder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-132
Number of pages17
JournalCA Cancer Journal for Clinicians
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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