PURPOSE: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a highly curable disease. Reducing late complications and second malignancies has become increasingly important. Radiotherapy target paradigms are currently changing and radiotherapy techniques are evolving rapidly. DESIGN: This overview reports to what extent target volume reduction in involved-node (IN) and advanced radiotherapy techniques, such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and proton therapy-compared with involved-field (IF) and 3D radiotherapy (3D-RT)- can reduce high doses to organs at risk (OAR) and examines the issues that still remain open. RESULTS: Although no comparison of all available techniques on identical patient datasets exists, clear patterns emerge. Advanced dose-calculation algorithms (e.g., convolution-superposition/Monte Carlo) should be used in mediastinal HL. INRT consistently reduces treated volumes when compared with IFRT with the exact amount depending on the INRT definition. The number of patients that might significantly benefit from highly conformal techniques such as IMRT over 3D-RT regarding high-dose exposure to organs at risk (OAR) is smaller with INRT. The impact of larger volumes treated with low doses in advanced techniques is unclear. The type of IMRT used (static/rotational) is of minor importance. All advanced photon techniques result in similar potential benefits and disadvantages, therefore only the degree-of-modulation should be chosen based on individual treatment goals. Treatment in deep inspiration breath hold is being evaluated. Protons theoretically provide both excellent high-dose conformality and reduced integral dose. CONCLUSION: Further reduction of treated volumes most effectively reduces OAR dose, most likely without disadvantages if the excellent control rates achieved currently are maintained. For both IFRT and INRT, the benefits of advanced radiotherapy techniques depend on the individual patient/target geometry. Their use should therefore be decided case by case with comparative treatment planning.
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