Current role of radiotherapy in Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

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Current goals of therapy for patients with Hodgkin's disease include maximizing cure rate while minimizing toxicity, particularly long-term toxicity such as treatment-related second cancers, pulmonary toxicity, and cardiac toxicity. For early-stage patients the need for staging laparotomy, the necessary extent of radiation therapy, and the possibilities of combined modality therapy are current controversies. For patients with stage III disease it is now clear that chemotherapy is an essential component of therapy. Long-term follow-up studies continue to show that a significant number of patients treated for Hodgkin's disease eventually develop solid tumors and acute myelogenous leukemia. Populations most at risk and treatments associated with these risks are being defined. For patients with large-cell lymphoma, anthracycline-containing chemotherapy is the mainstay of therapy, although radiation therapy to sites of bulky disease may have a role.

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