Improving the Therapeutic Ratio in Hodgkin Lymphoma Through the Use of Proton Therapy
The risk of serious late complications in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) survivors has led to a variety of strategies for reducing late treatment effects from both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. With radiation therapy, efforts have included reductions in dose, reductions in the size of the target volume, and most recently, significant reductions in the dose to nontargeted normal tissues at risk for radiation damage, achieved by using the emerging technologies of intensity-modulated radiation therapy and proton therapy (PT). PT is associated with a substantial reduction in radiation dose to critical organs, such as the heart and lungs, and has the potential to improve not only the therapeutic ratio, but also both event-free and overall survival. This review addresses the rationale and evidence for--and the challenges, cost implications, and future development of--PT as an important part of the treatment strategy in HL.