Hodgkin's disease in a child with sickle cell disease treated with hydroxyurea

Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2001 Sep;18(6):371-6. doi: 10.1080/088800101316921985.


Hydroxyurea (HU) is an oral drug that ameliorates the clinical course of sickle cell anemia by increasing the levels of fetal hemoglobin and decreasing the adhesion of red cells to endothelium. Although HU has minimal short-term toxicity, few data are available about the long-term safety and the potential risk for carcinogenesis or leukemogenesis. An 8-year-old child with sickle cell/beta 0-thalassemia who received HU treatment for painful crises is described. Six months after the initiation of the HU treatment he developed Hodgkin's disease, lymphocyte predominance subtype. Chemotherapy induced a complete remission. After discontinuation of chemotherapy the painful crises recurred and bone marrow transplantation was decided at the age of 12 years. Two years after the bone marrow transplantation, the child is in complete remission without painful crises. Although the authors suggest that the development of Hodgkin's disease is a coexisting event, questions arise about the safety of HU treatment in childhood.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / drug therapy*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Hodgkin Disease / chemically induced*
  • Hodgkin Disease / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyurea / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxyurea / therapeutic use*
  • Hydroxyurea / toxicity
  • Male
  • Remission Induction
  • beta-Thalassemia / complications
  • beta-Thalassemia / drug therapy


  • Hydroxyurea