Chemotherapy, which shrinks or destroys cancer cells, is the initial treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. The type of chemotherapy and the number of infusions prescribed depend on the extent of the cancer, as well as your age and health.
Hematologist–oncologists at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center typically recommend three to six cycles of outpatient chemotherapy for people with Hodgkin lymphoma. This occurs over a period of two to six months. The number of cycles a person needs is determined by the cancer’s aggressiveness; whether other treatments, such as radiation therapy, are used; and how the cancer responds to treatment.
Chemotherapy is given every two weeks, allowing time for the body to recover between treatments.
NYU Langone doctors typically prescribe a combination of four chemotherapy drugs, called ABVD. This stands for Adriamycin®, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine. A combination of seven chemotherapy drugs may be used for more advanced Hodgkin lymphoma.
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