Hodgkin's lymphoma: molecular targets and novel treatment strategies

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The WHO classification of Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) distinguishes between two major subtypes, classical and nodular lymphocyte predominant HL. Approximately 95% of patients with HL will have the classical HL histology, which is characterized by the presence of rare malignant Hodgkin's and Reed-Sternberg cells among an overwhelming number of benign reactive cells. In recent years, new studies have shed more light on the biological and molecular features of Hodgkin's and Reed-Sternberg cells, providing hope that new targeted therapy may be developed to enhance the cure rate and to reduce treatment-related toxicity. In this review, the current understanding of the pathology and biology of HL will be discussed, as well as the current treatment approaches for patients with classical HL. Future treatment strategies will also be discussed based on our understanding of HL biology.

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