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Long-term side effects are the leading concern when administering radiation therapy in early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma. However, these side effects often do not manifest for 10 to 20 years following treatment, which complicates studies examining optimal treatment approaches. As a result, Jonathan W. Friedberg, MD, believes that long-term follow-up from trials examining first-line treatment approaches will be more revealing than shorter analyses.
The standard approach for administering radiation has evolved significantly from extended-field radiation to the current standard of involved-field radiation, Craig H. Moskowitz, MD says. This new approach applies radiation only to the affected lymph node, which has been shown to be equally effective and less toxic than extended-field radiation. Longer follow up is still pending to ascertain if these approaches reduce the occurrence of long-term side effects.