Background and purpose: Radiotherapy of Hodgkin's Lymphoma has evolved from extended-field to involved-field (IF) radiotherapy reducing toxicity whilst maintaining high cure rates. Recent publications recommend further reduction in the radiation field to involved-node (IN) radiotherapy; however, this concept has never been tested in a randomized trial. The German Hodgkin Study Group aims to compare it with standard IF radiotherapy in their future HD17 trial.
Patients and methods: ALL patients must be examined by the radiation oncologist before the start of chemotherapy. At that time, patients must have complete staging CT scans. For patients with IN radiotherapy, a radiation planning CT before and after chemotherapy with patients in the treatment position is recommended. Fusion techniques, allowing the overlapping of the pre- and postchemotherapy CT scans, should be used. Usage of PET-CT scans with patients in the treatment position is recommended, whenever possible.
Results: The clinical target volume encompasses the initial volume of the Lymph node(s) before chemotherapy and incorporates the initial Location and extent of the disease taking the displacement of the normal tissues into account. The margin of the planning target volume should be 2 cm in axial and 3 cm in craniocaudal direction. If necessary, it can be reduced to 1-1.5 cm. To minimize Lung and cardiac toxicity, the target definition in the mediastinum is different.
Conclusion: The concept of IN radiotherapy has been proposed as a means to further improve the therapeutic ratio by reducing the risk of radiation-induced toxicity, including second malignancies. Field sizes wiLL further decrease compared to IF radiotherapy.