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Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment at GenesisCare

We are specialists in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating all types of cancer, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We have teams of highly trained cancer specialists that are experts in this disease who work together to evaluate the newest, evidence-based approaches so we can offer these to every patient – without delay.

Chapter 1

Treatment overview

Treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiotherapy or transplants. We combine this with consultant-led integrative care, such as wellbeing therapies and psychological support, to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Our qualified physiotherapists and wellbeing consultants will carefully plan these therapies tailored to your needs by working with you and your consultant.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma (or Hodgkin’s disease) is cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. This is a network of vessels throughout the body which plays an essential role in the immune system. In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the white blood cells that fight infection called B-lymphocytes increase abnormally. They gather in the lymphatic system, including the glands (lymph nodes), and stop fighting infection properly 

Hodgkin’s lymphoma can develop at any age and is slightly more common in men than womenAccording to Cancer Research UK, 2,000 new cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are diagnosed every year in the UKHowever, early diagnosis and treatment can result in a positive outcome for many. 

We are the UK’s leading specialist private cancer care provider. By choosing us, you can be reassured that your treatment will be managed by a team of specialists working together with you, to decide the best personalised care plan for your diagnosis. 

It is our commitment to offering world-class care to every patient with cancer. 

How is Hodgkin’s lymphoma treated?

There are a number of options of treatment available for Hodgkin’s lymphoma at GenesisCare, such as:  

  • Chemotherapy – anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs which destroy the cancerous cells 
  • Targeted therapy – a specialised group of drugs that attack or block certain processes in the cancer cells, causing them to die  
  • Radiotherapy – high-energy radiation beams which are targeted at the cancer cells 
  • Transplants – replace abnormal blood cells and damaged stem cells 

Contact us

These web pages provide information about Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment at GenesisCare. If you would like to contact us in confidence, we will be happy to answer any of your questions.
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Chapter 2


How is Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed?

At GenesisCare, we diagnose and treat a wide range of cancers, and we understand that this can be a very worrying time for you. Our diagnostic services are first-class, and our commitment is to give you the answers you need, as quickly as possible. It’s important to remember that symptoms can often be caused by conditions other than Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Whatever your diagnosiswe can make sure you get the expert care you need and without delay. 

If you’re concerned about Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms, we offer fast access to specialist Hodgkin’s lymphoma tests and diagnostics. We also offer a dedicated Rapid Access Haematology Service at some of our centresHere you’ll see one of our expert consultants who specialise in blood and bone marrow cancers. They’ll assess your symptoms and, if necessary, refer you for diagnostic tests such as PET/CT and CT scans, lymph node biopsy and bone marrow aspirate biopsyAppointments are usually available within 24 hours. 

Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms

The most common symptom of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, often in the neck, armpit or groin. 

Other signs can include: 

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Fever 
  • Breathlessness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Itchy skin  
  • Sweating throughout the night 

If you have any concerns, you should seek medical advice or book an appointment through our Rapid Access Haematology Service. 

Rapid Access Haematology Service

Our specialist team of haematology consultants can assess and diagnose conditions quickly so you can get the answers you need and plan any treatment immediately.
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Chapter 3

Drug treatments

At GenesisCare, we offer all drug therapies that can be used to treat and manage Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including many of the newest treatments. Depending on how these treatments are given to you, you may need to attend one of our private chemotherapy suites which are staffed by our specialist nurses. Our compassionate nursing teams are available 24/7 on a dedicated on-call telephone service and can answer any queries during your treatment. They’ll be able to provide advice about side effects or symptoms and help arrange appropriate medical care when needed.

Our centres have all received the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark to reflect the high quality of care we provide for people living with cancer. 

There are different types of drug treatments, also called systemic anti-cancer therapies. Our expert teams continually review and assess new treatments to make these available to GenesisCare patients as early as possible. 

Chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma 

Chemotherapy uses cytotoxic (anti-cancer) drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be delivered on its own or in combination with other treatments, such as radiotherapy (chemoradiation) or steroids. 

If initial treatment doesn’t improve your condition, you may have a course of high-dose chemotherapy. Intensive chemotherapy can successfully treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma, however, your haematologist may recommend a stem cell or bone marrow transplant alongside this treatment. 

Targeted therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma 

Targeted (also called biological) therapies are a specialised group of drugs that are designed to attack or block certain processes in cancer cells that tumours depend on to survive and grow. Monoclonal antibodies (MABs) are the primary type of targeted therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They usually work by encouraging your body’s immune system to attack and destroy the lymphoma cells. In some cases, MABs can also deliver toxic chemotherapy directly into the lymphoma cell. 

Palliative care 

If your cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it’s called advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. At GenesisCare, you can receive palliative drug treatment for advanced Hodgkin lymphoma to reduce the size and slow the progress of your cancer, as well as ease any symptoms  

Personalised medicine 

For some advanced cancers, we use specialist tests, such as liquid biopsy or genomic testing, to understand the genetic make-up of cancer cells. This helps us to identify which drugs are available to work against the particular genetic mutations in a cancer, allowing us to start effective treatment without delay. 

Clinical trials  

There may be opportunities to access clinical trials for the newest treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Clinical trials can be considered a suitable treatment option if you’ve exhausted standard therapies or evidence suggests the trial treatment will be more successful at treating your condition. Your haematologist will discuss these opportunities in more detail with you.  

Drug treatment side effects 

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you depending on your drug treatment, together with the ways your treatment plan and supportive care can help manage or minimise these. 

Chapter 4


Radiotherapy uses targeted, high-energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells. It’s a common treatment option for Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients, and it’s usually delivered on its own as a standalone treatment, or before a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.

At GenesisCare, we are the leading private provider of radiotherapy in the UK. We offer world-class expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and advanced radiotherapy techniques. Our latest-generation radiotherapy machines (called linacs) deliver highly targeted radiation beams that are designed to be effective while minimising the radiation dose to healthy tissues.

Your treatment will be governed by our expert multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), consisting of oncologists, radiotherapists and medical physicists. They’ll work together to ensure that you receive only the best possible care.

Radiotherapy techniques for Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a modern radiotherapy technique that directs beams of radiation in an arc across the treatment area. Together with surface-guided radiotherapy (SGRT), it’s possible to precisely target areas of cancer, adjusting the beam and intensity of the radiation dose to allow for movements in the body and avoid healthy tissues. Side effects of radiotherapy occur when healthy tissues receive radiation, so using this technique helps to limit the dose to tissues and organs surrounding the tumour. At GenesisCare, we offer VMAT as standard to eligible chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients with an enlarged spleen. This is because it is widely recognised to be the highest standard of care currently available for patients needing this type of radiotherapy. 

Total body irradiation (TBI) delivers radiation to your whole body and is used to help kill unwanted bone marrows cells, before a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.  

We offer palliative VMAT radiotherapy for those living with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma, where it has spread outside the lymph nodes and throughout the body, to improve pain management and increase mobility. We understand that fast access to palliative care is paramount and can usually provide treatment within 48 hours of a planning imaging scan. 

Side effects of radiotherapy

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you before you start your course of radiotherapy, together with the ways your treatment plan and supportive care can help manage or minimise these. 

Advanced radiotherapy
Chapter 5


Transplants are often used to replace damaged stem cells in your bone marrow following high-dose chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and form part of an overall treatment and care plan for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Our consultants have close relationships with leading haematologists who are experts in transplants for blood and bone marrow cancers. We’ll work together with other cancer specialists to decide the best course of treatment for you.

If your consultant recommends a transplant, this can be arranged conveniently at one of our partner hospitals. You can then continue your other treatments at GenesisCare.

Stem cell and bone marrow transplants

Stem cells are early types of cells which are found in your bone marrow and can develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.  

Stem cell transplants are more commonly used than bone marrow transplants when treating Hodgkin’s lymphoma. You may have an allogeneic stem cell transplant, where the stem cells are from a donor, or an autologous stem cell transplant, where the stem cells are collected from your body before treatment.  

Transplant side effects

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you, together with the ways in which your treatment plan and supportive care can help manage or minimise these. 

Chapter 6

Integrative care

At GenesisCare, we do more than just treat your cancer. As part of our unique and integrative approach to cancer care, you can expect the best possible care and a personalised treatment plan that includes access to life-changing therapies which are proven to improve cancer-related outcomes. These therapies will be tailored to you to help you manage and cope with your cancer as well as the specific side effects of treatment.

Exercise medicine

Exercise medicine is a personalised programme of carefully planned and supported physical activity that has been shown to improve outcomes for cancer patients, enhancing quality of life and limiting the impact of cancer, such as by improving strength and reducing fatigue. One of our physiotherapists specialising in exercise for people living with cancer will provide a 12-week programme tailored to your needs and supported by our dedicated GenesisCare Exercise Medicine app. They’ll work closely with you to monitor changes in your health and support you throughout the programme to help you get the best results. This is available at selected GenesisCare centres. 


We also offer a wellbeing expert and holistic therapies such as counselling, acupuncture, massage and reflexology through our unique partnership with the Penny Brohn UK charity. This service is available to all Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients at any of our 14 UK centres 

Chapter 7

Why choose us?

GenesisCare is a leading private provider of cancer care, offering the latest innovations and techniques that are proven to be safe and effective. If you choose us for Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment, you’ll be under the care of a team of experts, including consultant oncologists and haematologists. They’ll design a personalised care plan based around your diagnosis and preferences, with treatment starting within days if needed. Every patient is also supported through their journey with life-changing therapies, such as exercise medicine and psychological support.

Our dedicated cancer centres are convenient and easy-to-access. You can use your private medical insurance, and we’re recognised by all leading insurers. 

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, our priority is to continue providing the very best cancer care. We have meticulous measures in place to ensure our patients receive the treatments they need safely and without delay. You can find out more about our COVID-19 safety measures here. 

We are proud that so many patients rate our care as excellent as we help them through their cancer journey. Find out more about the unique experiences of people who have had their cancer diagnosis or treatment at GenesisCare in our patient stories section.