Early-stage Hodgkin's disease: current approaches to treatment.
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Most patients with early-stage Hodgkin's disease can now be cured by one of several therapeutic approaches. This review highlights the developments in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease that have led to long-term survival rates greater than 90%. Past and present radio-therapy (RT) planning and treatment practices are discussed in the context of both clinical and pathological staging. The role of initial bimodal therapy (RT and chemotherapy [CT]) and the use of CT in patients who suffer relapse after initial treatment with RT alone are reviewed. On the basis of prognostic factors, subgroups of patients for whom bimodal therapy is recommended, including those with a bulky mediastinal mass, have now been identified. Although treatment is highly successful, debilitating consequences of RT and CT, such as infertility, infection and second malignant diseases, remain. Newer treatment regimens may reduce morbidity and have similar or better long-term results with respect to survival and quality of life.
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