Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be cured or controlled for many years in most people who have the disease. Ongoing advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment allow us to precisely target your care to be as effective as possible. The treatment that is right for you also depends on your own circumstances, preferences, and beliefs.

Your Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) doctors will recommend treatment based on many factors, including:

  • The type and stage of your Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • The size of your lymph nodes
  • Any symptoms you have
  • Your age and overall health
  • Whether the cancer is newly diagnosed or has recurred

Full Range of Lymphoma Treatments

For Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the most common treatments are chemotherapy and radiation, and most patients begin with those treatments.

Depending on your situation, your doctor may suggest other treatments, including options you can access by taking part in a clinical study, also called a clinical trial, conducted through Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) and its founding organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine.

People whose disease is not cured with initial treatment or who get recurrent lymphoma may have a bone marrow transplant in combination with other therapies. Doctors at the Fred Hutchinson Transplant Program at SCCA pioneered bone marrow transplantation 40 years ago and have performed more transplants than any institution in the world.

Other Considerations

Cutaneous lymphoma, which is a rare type of skin lymphoma, may be treated with a different set of therapies. Lymphoma in children can be different than the disease and treatment in adults. If you are concerned about a child who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, please visit our section on childhood Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

As with any cancer, treatments will be modified if patients are pregnant. Lymphoma related to infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) needs special care and different treatment options.

Supportive Care

The treatment schedule varies from patient to patient. After your initial treatment, your doctor will monitor your condition to see whether your lymphoma is in remission or you need additional treatment.

Supportive care and management of pain and other symptoms, with an emphasis on quality of life, are as important to our doctors as they are to you, and these are part of every patient’s care.

Newly Diagnosed

Our experienced, compassionate team is dedicated to turning people with cancer into survivors. If you have recently been diagnosed with lymphoma, learning about treatment options is a good start. Your most important decision, however, is selecting where to get treatment.


Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most often treated with anti-cancer drugs, called chemotherapy, usually given intravenously (by IV). Chemotherapy may be combined with other treatments.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy, which uses high-energy particles or beams, may be used with or without chemotherapy to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Targeted Therapy

Antibody therapy uses immune-system proteins to target cancer cells. Brentuximab (Adcetris) is FDA-approved for treating relapsed Hodgkin’s lymphoma. SCCA clinical studies are investigating its effects on newly diagnosed Hodgkin’s.

Bone Marrow Transplant

People whose disease is not cured with initial treatment or who get recurrent lymphoma may have a bone marrow transplant in combination with other therapies.

Supportive Care

We provide care beginning at the time of diagnosis to decrease your symptoms, improve your quality of life, and prevent or treat health problems related to your lymphoma or its treatment.