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Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatment

At MD Anderson, our doctors have a full range of methods to help fight Hodgkin’s lymphoma in every stage, including disease that has returned after treatment. We are at the forefront of pioneering targeted therapies and other treatments that help your healthy cells fight cancer, while minimizing impact to your body.

Because the standard chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma may have long-term effects, especially for young people, we are working to develop effective – but more gentle – treatments. In young men and women, we make every effort to preserve fertility by using therapies that focus on treating the cancer but cause the least-possible damage to reproductive organs.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatments

If you are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, your doctor will discuss the best options to treat it. This depends on several factors, including:

  • Type and stage of Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • If your disease has not responded to previous treatments
  • If your disease has returned after treatment
  • Your age

Other medical problems, such as heart or kidney disease

Your treatment will be customized to your needs. One or more of the following therapies may be recommended to treat the cancer or help relieve symptoms.


Treatment with drugs is the main therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Combination chemotherapy, a mixture of drugs with different properties, is used often. MD Anderson offers the most up-to-date and advanced chemotherapy options.

Radiation Therapy

New radiation therapy techniques and remarkable skill allow MD Anderson doctors to target tumors more precisely, delivering the maximum amount of radiation with the least damage to healthy cells.

Proton Therapy

The Proton Therapy Center at MD Anderson is one of the world’s largest and most advanced centers in the world. It’s the only proton therapy facility in the country located within a comprehensive cancer center. This means that this cutting-edge therapy is backed by all the expertise and compassionate care for which MD Anderson is famous.

Proton therapy delivers high radiation doses directly to the tumor site, with no damage to nearby healthy tissue. For some patients, this therapy results in more-successful treatment with fewer side effects.


These innovative agents help the body fight cancer. Sometimes they have less impact on the body. We pioneered several immunotherapies, and several of them are found at only a few other cancer centers. Immunotherapy treatment methods may include:

  • Monoclonal antibodies, including SGN-35
  • Biological therapies that develop antibodies that destroy cancer cells
  • Targeted therapies that fight cancer cells by using small molecules to block pathways cells use to survive and multiply

Stem Cell Transplantation

If Hodgkin’s lymphoma does not respond to chemotherapy or if it returns, a stem cell transplant may be recommended. Also, since chemotherapy often harms healthy cells in the blood and bone marrow, patients who have certain types of chemotherapy may need stem cell transplants.

MD Anderson has the largest bone marrow and stem cell transplant program in the nation, performing more than 600 procedures per year. We pioneered the use of less toxic doses of chemotherapy, which result in higher success rates and are now the widely accepted standard.

Clinical Trials

MD Anderson patients have access to clinical trials offering promising new treatments that cannot be found anywhere else.

Knowledge Center

Find the latest news and information about Hodgkin's lymphoma in our Knowledge Center, including blog posts, articles, videos, news releases and more.


MD Anderson has licensed social workers to help patients and their loved ones cope with cancer.


Talk to someone who shares your cancer diagnosis and be matched with a survivor.

Prevention and Screening

Many cancers can be prevented with lifestyle changes and regular screening.