Childhood Hodgkin lymphoma

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Treatments for low-risk childhood classic HL

The following are treatment options for low-risk childhood classic Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Low-risk cancers are defined as stage 1 or 2 disease with no bulky tumours and no B symptoms (fever, night sweats and weight loss). The healthcare team will suggest treatments based on the child’s needs and will work with you to develop a treatment plan.


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

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

Radiation therapy

After chemotherapy, low-dose radiation therapy may be 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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