Chemotherapy is often recommended for treating Hodgkin lymphoma. This treatment may be used in several ways: to destroy rapidly dividing cancerous cells, to prevent cancer spread or to help alleviate the symptoms of large, obstructive tumors.
Chemo involves the use of one or more powerful anticancer drugs, which may be taken by mouth or injected into a vein so that the drugs enter the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the drugs can be transported throughout the body to reach widespread cancer cells. Because each chemotherapy drug targets the cancer in a different way, drugs are often combined to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment as a whole. One common chemotherapy regimen that is used for treating Hodgkin lymphoma is known as ABVD, which includes the following four medications:
Chemotherapy for lymphoma is usually administered in several cycles, with a rest period of a few weeks scheduled in between each cycle. This approach allows a patient’s body time to recover from any side effects of chemotherapy prior to starting the next cycle. The number of chemo cycles recommended for a patient will depend on the type and stage of the Hodgkin lymphoma and other individual factors, including the patient’s age and overall health.
In Moffitt Cancer Center’s Malignant Hematology Program, a multispecialty team of experts collaboratively develops a highly individualized treatment plan for each patient. For the convenience of our patients, we provide all forms of chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma at all Moffitt locations. Additionally, we have a robust portfolio of clinical trials through which our patients have access to promising new chemo drugs and drug combinations that have not yet been made available in other settings.