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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 485071, 8 pages
Review Article

The Role of Radiotherapy in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: What Has Been Achieved during the Last 50 Years?

Department of Experimental Hematology, Medical University of Lodz, Copernicus Memorial Hospital, Ciolkowskiego 2, 93-510 Lodz, Poland

Received 3 September 2014; Accepted 18 October 2014

Academic Editor: Vincent Ribrag

Copyright © 2015 Magdalena Witkowska et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Currently, Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) has an excellent clinical outcome, with overall survival of approximately 90% in early stages of the disease. Based on young age of the majority of patients at the time of diagnosis and their long survival time, increased attention has been focused on long-term toxicity of therapy. While novel, directly targeting antitumor agents, with an excellent safety profile, have been developed for HL treatment, the role of radiotherapy is still debated. Radiotherapy may induce cardiovascular disease and impairment of thyroid or pulmonary function and, most importantly, may lead to development of secondary cancers. As a consequence, the current radiation therapy planning paradigm is mainly focused on a reduction of field size. As it was investigated in clinical trials regional therapy is as effective as extended field radiotherapy, but less toxic. Although chemotherapy is the mainstay of HL treatment, consolidative involved field radiation therapy is still considered to be the standard of care in both early and advanced stages. Recently, further field reduction has been investigated to further decrease the late radiation-induced toxicity. In this paper we describe the role and safety profile of radiotherapy in the past and present and hope for the novel techniques in the future.