Childhood Hodgkin lymphoma

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Treatments for intermediate-risk childhood classic HL

The following are treatment options for intermediate-risk childhood classic Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Intermediate-risk cancers can be stage 1, 2, 3 or 4. They are defined as either:

  • stage 1 or 2 disease with bulky tumour or B symptoms (fever, night sweats and weight loss)
  • stage 3 or 4 disease with no B symptoms

The healthcare team will suggest treatments based on the child’s needs and will work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the primary treatment for intermediate-risk childhood classic HL. Chemotherapy combinations used include:

  • COPP/ABV – cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Procytox), vincristine (Oncovin), prednisone, procarbazine hydrochloride (Matulane) with doxorubicin (Adriamycin), bleomycin (Blenoxane) and vinblastine (Velbe)
  • OPPA (given to girls) with COPP – vincristine, prednisone, procarbazine hydrochloride and doxorubicin with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone and procarbazine hydrochloride
  • OEPA (given to boys) with COPP – vincristine, etoposide (Vepesid, VP-16), prednisone and doxorubicin with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone and procarbazine hydrochloride
  • OPPA (given to girls) with COPDAC – vincristine, prednisone, procarbazine hydrochloride and doxorubicin with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone and dacarbazine (DTIC)
  • OEPA (given to boys) with COPDAC – vincristine, etoposide, prednisone and doxorubicin with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone and dacarbazine
  • DBVE-PC – doxorubicin, bleomycin, vincristine, etoposide, prednisone and cyclophosphamide

Radiation therapy

After chemotherapy, low-dose radiation therapy is given to the areas that have cancer. The type of radiation therapy used is external beam radiation therapy. During external beam radiation therapy, a machine directs radiation through the skin to the tumour and some of the tissue around it. The dose of radiation and the area treated are kept as small as possible.

Clinical trials

Many children with Hodgkin lymphoma enter a clinical trial that is tailored to the risk group or stage of their disease. The clinical trial protocol outlines the chemotherapy drugs and doses used. Find out more about clinical trials.

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