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Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children

  • "I don't think I've ever sat down with the family of a child with newly diagnosed lymphoma and talked about "controlling" their child's Hodgkin lymphoma. With Hodgkin lymphoma, we talk about a cure. It's not even a question."

    - Amy L. Billet, MD, Director of Lymphoma Program

    Learning that your child has Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system,is a scary and life-altering experience for any parent. We are here to work with you, your child and your family through every moment of the journey.

    As difficult as coping with your child’s cancer can be, it’s important to remember that there is cause for hope: Hodgkin lymphoma is a very treatable form of cancer, and more than 90 percent of children with the condition who are treated at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s are cured.

    • The two main types of Hodgkin lymphomaare classical Hodgkin lymphoma and nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma.
    • Both classical and nodular lymphocyte predominant are highly curable.  Classical Hodgkin lymphoma usually requires more treatment. It’s a rare disease, with only 12 cases per million children in the United States.
    • It accounts for 8 percent of pediatric cancers.
    • It is most common in people between ages 15 and 34 and in people older than 55.
    • Hodgkin lymphoma always produces Reed-Sternberg cells; while non-Hodgkin lymphoma rarely produces Reed-Sternberg cells.

    How the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's approaches Hodgkin lymphoma

    Patients with Hodgkin lymphoma are treated through Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, an integrated pediatric hematology and oncology partnership between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. Our Lymphoma Program utilizes the expertise of both Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to treat children and adolescents with newly diagnosed and recurrent Hodgkin lymphoma.

    Through the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, childhood cancer survivors receive a comprehensive follow-up evaluation from their cancer care team.

    We also offer the following services:

    • patient and family education
    • psychosocial assessment
    • genetic counseling
    • opportunities to speak with other childhood cancer survivors

    From Rwanda to Boston

    Sibo Tuyishmire is a Rwandan teen who received life-saving care for Hodgkin lymphoma at the Dana-Farber/Children’s Cancer Center in 2011. After going through two rounds of successful chemotherapy, he returned to school, where teachers and students of Concord Middle School welcomed him. Learn more about this Sibo’s story.

    Hodgkin lymphoma: Reviewed by Amy Billet, MD © Children’s Hospital Boston, 2012

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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