STEP 4: Treatment

Establish intent of treatment

  • Curative
  • Anti-cancer therapy to improve quality of life and/or longevity without expectation of cure
  • Symptom palliation

Systemic therapy: The vast majority of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma or DLBCL are likely to benefit from systemic therapy. A range of biological and targeted therapies are increasingly being used to treat patients with these lymphomas.

Radiation therapy should be considered for suitable patients with localised disease or those with more advanced disease with a dominant bulky lesion. Radiation therapy is usually used in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Palliative care:

Early referral to palliative care can improve quality of life and in some cases survival. Referral should be based on need, not prognosis. For more, visit the Palliative Care Australia website.


The lead clinician and team’s responsibilities include:

  • discussing treatment options with the patient and/or carer including the intent of treatment as well as risks and benefits
  • discussing advance care planning with the patient and/or carer where appropriate
  • communicating the treatment plan to the patient’s GP
  • helping patients to find appropriate support for exercise programs where appropriate to improve treatment outcomes.



Treatment should begin within 2 weeks of diagnosis and staging.

In cases with critical organ compromise or rapid clinical progression, it may be necessary to start treatment within 24 hours of diagnosis.