Patient Advocacy

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Malignant Reed Sternberg cells invade and destroy the architecture of the lymph nodes and infiltrate major organs such as the liver and spleen in more advanced cases (Stages III and IV). Treatment options for Hodgkins Lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiotherapy or chemotherapy plus radiotherapy. More difficult cases may require high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. In addition to the stage of the disease other factors such as age, general health and location of the disease are considered important in treatment decisions. In recent years PET/CT scans have been helpful in determining the extent of Hodgkins disease and assessing how well treatment is working. In some patients Hodgkins may never go away completely and regular treatments are required to control the disease while others experience relapses. Nowadays chemotherapy plus radiotherapy to involved areas is considered as standard treatment for patients with early stage Hodgkins Lymphoma (Stages I and II) and the incidence of survival in the U.S. after 5-years is about 90%. The 5-year survival rate for stage III patients is about 80% while it is 65% for stage IV patients. Due to long term adverse effects such as secondary malignancies causing both morbidity and mortality, the role of radiotherapy has been questioned and other means of treatment are being sought.

Incidence of Hodgkins Lymphoma.

More than 9,000 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the United States each year. It occurs mainly in individuals between 16 and 34 years of age and those over age 55.

Symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hodgkin’s lymphoma often develops in people between the ages of 16 and 34. These younger patients are usually otherwise healthy. Because of this, their bodies can withstand the disease without showing any symptoms for a long period of time. Other times, the only symptom will be painless swelling of the lymph nodes usually in the neck or under the arm, as well as in the upper chest, abdomen and groin. Patients often visit a physician because of this swelling, which eventually leads to a diagnosis.

Other symptoms vary from person to person and may include:

  • Pain in the swollen lymph nodes after drinking alcohol.
  • Heavy night sweats, with or without a fever.
  • Fever or chills at night or during the day.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fatigue or lack of energy.
  • Dry, itchy skin.
  • A widespread, red rash.
  • Cough and shortness of breath or chest discomfort caused by a large lymph node mass in the chest.
  • An enlarged liver or spleen.

These symptoms do not always mean you have Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However it is important to discuss any signs with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.

How RP-323 works in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Read about how it works