The management of Hodgkin lymphoma in adolescents and young adults: burden of disease or burden of choice?

Jamie E. Flerlage, Monika L. Metzger and Nickhill Bhakta


Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) comprise the largest age group affected by Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Despite excellent overall survival of AYA patients with HL due to advances in treatment regimens, therapy-associated late effects continue to be a concern in HL survivors, especially for younger patients who have decades of life remaining. Since the first clinical trial for HL with chemotherapy in 1964, subsequent protocols have attempted to reduce chemotherapy-induced toxicities and yet maintain high overall survival rates. Today, new analytic methods applied to data from survivorship cohorts, such as the recently described cumulative burden of disease metric, can be used to inform changes for future protocols. Although pediatric and adult trial consortia have followed this process, the AYA population, an age cohort split between pediatric and adult healthcare services, faces many barriers to care and are the least likely to be enrolled in clinical trials. AYA patients with HL theoretically have a choice to be treated in pediatric or adult protocols when presented with these options. Recent efforts by the National Clinical Trials Network, the Children's Oncology Group, and others have been made to ensure that the burden of choice for the AYA population is not greater than the burden of disease.

  • Submitted January 24, 2018.
  • Accepted June 1, 2018.