Radiation therapy has been used in the treatment of Hodgkin's disease for more than a century. At first it was demonstrated to provide significant palliation. As advances in technology permitted a more controlled delivery of radiation to defined regions, long lasting responses of disease were demonstrated. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Vera Peters and Henry Kaplan demonstrated the curative potential of high dose extended field irradiation in the treatment of stage I-II Hodgkin's disease. As effective programs of chemotherapy evolved, combined modality therapy with intensive chemotherapy and extensive radiation was applied for patients with early stage disease, resulting in significant morbidity and some mortality. More recently, combined modality programs of brief chemotherapy and limited radiation have been extremely successful in managing patients with stage I-II disease. In addition to its utility in early disease, radiation therapy is an integral component of treatment programs for patients with large mediastinal adenopathy. It has also proved useful in patients with stage III-IV who achieve only a partial response to chemotherapy and may also have a role to play as a component of high-dose therapy hematopoietic stem cell transplant programs. Radiation therapy remains the most effective single agent for the treatment of Hodgkin's disease.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1600-0609.2005.00449.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000229591400003
View details for PubMedID 16007863