Five hundred and seven patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), forming the basis of our 18 years experience, are retrospectively analyzed. Four therapeutic periods are recognizable: 1. 1. The 1966-1970 period was characterized by the absence of treatment and management policy. The 55 patients entered in this period experienced 70 and 56% survival at 5 and 10 yr, respectively, from diagnosis. 2. 2. The 1971-1974 period was characterized by the increasing knowledge of staging relevance and therapeutic approaches. The 153 patients who were treated in this period experienced 72 and 60% survival and 5 and 10 yr, respectively. 3. 3. The 1975-1980 period was characterized by a large combination of MOPP and radiotherapy. The 216 patients who entered this period observed 80 and 72.5% survival at 5 and 10 yr, respectively. 4. 4. The last therapeutic period (1980 to present time) is characterized by the increasing relevance of prognostic factors and alternating use of MOPP and ABVD as non-cross resistant regimen. The 83 patients who entered this period showed 90% survival at 5 yr. Both survival and disease-free survival were positively influenced by the change of therapeutic strategies during the four periods (P <0.005). Although better results have been recorded moving from one to the next therapeutic period, the present policy has been also based on the recognition of a high number of late complications due to the therapy. Preliminary results about the present therapeutic experience seem to indicate both a good remission rate and low incidence of complications.
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