The curability of Hodgkin’s disease is based not only on long-term survivors, but also on the notion that patients properly treated may have the same expectation of life as that of the normal population. The most reliable criterion of curability is the recurrence-free survival over 10 years following the first treatment. Using data drawn from a series of 282 patients primarily treated between 1939 and 1962, and followed for more than 10 years, the cure rate is 15%. This rate is essentially related to patients treated before the era of supervoltage radiation therapy and of lymphangiography. Cure rate is 44% in stage I and II A, 17% in stage IIB. Stress is placed on the most favorable clinical presentations and on the management of these forms. Telecobalttherapy, lymphangiography and chemotherapy are improving the long-term results and the curability of Hodgkin’s disease.

The possibility of cure in Hodgkin’s disease has now been recognized, as was predicted by GILBERT [1]. Even then GILBERT thought that early and intensive radiation therapy might sometimes give very long, even definitive remissions. Many physicians knew of long-time survivors, yet refused to believe that Hodgkin’s disease could be permanently cured. In medicine, established beliefs are often hard to change.

In 1966 PETERS [3, 4] remarked that survival for a very long period — 15 to 20 years — without detectable signs of Hodgkin’s disease argued strongly in favor of the curability of the disease. EASSON and RUSSELL [2] were the first to demonstrate that, in a group of patients who survived for 10–15 years, expectation of life could be shown to be similar to that of the normal population of the same sex and age. He was the first to offer proof of the cure of patients treated for Hodgkin’s disease.

Curability is gratifying for the physician, but for the patient it spells the hope of a completely normal life with no restrictions at all.

On the basis of data from the literature and an analysis of our own statistics based on 282 patients initially treated between 1939 and 1962 and followed up for more than 10 years, we would like to discuss:
  1. 1.

    criteria of curability

  2. 2.

    rate of cure

  3. 3.

    clinical factors in prognosis

  4. 4.

    management of Hodgkin’s disease, when the prognosis was good.



Internal Mammary Chain Percent Chance Prophylactic Irradiation Bronchial Node Mediastinal Lymphoma 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Papillon

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