Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Radiotherapy in the treatment of Hodgkin's disease.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 13 May 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:1246
  1. A R Timothy,
  2. S B Sutcliffe,
  3. A G Stansfeld,
  4. P F Wrigley,
  5. A E Jones


    Eighty-seven untreated patients with localised Hodgkin's disease seen from 1969 to 1975 were treated by megavoltage radiotherapy. All were followed for at least 33 months. Thirty-three patients were staged clinically and 54 underwent more extensive investigation by lapaortomy and splenectomy. The projected five-year disease-free survival figures for patients staged surgically were 100% for the 17 with stage IA disease, 70% for the 19 with stage IIA disease, and 73% for the 15 with stage IIIA disease. These results were consistently better than those obtained in clinically staged patients. Five patients died, one of them without evidence of Hodgkin's disease. As irradiation seems to produce excellent disease-free survival in most patients who are staged accurately at diagnosis, caution should be exercised in the routine use of adjuvant chemotherapy until the full risks of such treatment are clear. Combined modality therapy may be appropriate for patients with unfavourable features at presentation.