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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Hodgkin Lymphoma, Version 1.2015

In Part 3, the main treatment types

that are recommended by NCCN

experts are briefly described. Knowing

what a treatment is will help you

understand your treatment options as

listed in Part 4. There is more than

one treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.

Not every person will receive every

treatment described in this chapter.


Chemotherapy, or “chemo,” is drugs that disrupt the

life cycle of cancer cells so they can’t increase in

number. Some chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells

by damaging their DNA or by disrupting the making

of DNA. Other drugs interfere with cell parts that are

needed for making new cells. Thus, no new cells are

made to replace dying cells. Chemotherapy is often

used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma.

Many chemotherapy drugs work when cells are in

an active growth phase. During the active growth

phase, cells grow and divide to form a new cell.

Chemotherapy drugs that disrupt the growth phase

work well for cancer cells that are growing and

dividing quickly. Other chemotherapy drugs work

whether cells are in a growth or resting phase.

Chemotherapy can kill both cancer and normal cells.

Most chemotherapy drugs for Hodgkin lymphoma are

liquids that are slowly injected into a vein. Some are

a pill that is swallowed. Very rarely these drugs can

be injected under the skin. By any method, the drugs

travel in your bloodstream to treat cancer throughout

your body. Chemotherapy and other drugs used to

treat Hodgkin lymphoma are listed in

Chart 3.1.


Overview of cancer


24 Chemotherapy

26 Steroids

27 Radiation therapy

28 Stem cell transplant

30 Immunomodulators

31 Targeted therapy

32 Clinical trials

34 Review