New results from an international research project including researchers from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark show that a gene test is able to select patients with an aggressive type of Hodgkin lymphoma and ensure they get efficient treatment.

Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes. Today, the prospects of recovery are quite good. However, some patients experience relapse of disease and in this situation it is particularly important to know if they have an aggressive or less aggressive type of the disease.

Researchers from Canada, The Netherlands and Department of Hematology at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark recently finished a research project concluding that a new gene test can identify if patients with Hodgkin lymphoma have the aggressive or less aggressive version of the disease. The results have just been published in the acknowledged Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In the project, researchers used the gene test to predict relapse in patients who already had had a stem cell transplantation as part of their treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.

- In the future such a gene test will help the doctors to select the patients with aggressive Hodgkin lymphoma and ensure that they get an efficient treatment such as immune therapy, says Francesco d’Amore.

He is responsible for the Danish part of the research project. He is also a consultant and professor at Department of Hematology at Aarhus University Hospital and Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University.

- Today Hodgkin lymphoma is increasingly treated with different kinds of immune therapy activating the body's own immune system to kill the cancer cells. Immune therapy is expensive and it is vital to know which patients will benefit from this type of treatment.


  • Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer affecting the cells of the lymph system (lymph nodes).
  • Approximately 140 patients are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma annually in Denmark.
  • Hodgkin lymphoma is most common in two age groups: Young people between 25 and 30 years and older people between 60 and 65 years.
  • Treatment can consist of chemotherapy maybe in combination with radiation therapy. In severe cases stem cell transplantation is used. Immune therapy is increasingly offered as part of the treatment.
  • More than 80% of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma are cured.

Source: The Danish Cancer Society and Francesco d'Amore

Behind the research result
  • Study design: Clinical translational study where a gene panel is tested with nano string technology on stored biopsy material. The results generated are combined with clinical information on e.g. treatment response and disease free survival.
  • The study is made in a collaboration between researchers at Department of Hematology at Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University, British Columbia Cancer Agency in Canada and Goeningen University in The Netherlands. All three countries have delivered tissue samples from patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • External financing: Karen Elise Jensens Fond.
  • Ethics: Tissue examinations and data management are approved by the ethics authorities in each of the three participating countries.


Further information

Francesco d'Amore, Professor and Consultant, Department of Hematology, Aarhus University Hospital and Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark

Tel. +45 78 46 75 67, +45 23 26 63 90, e-mail: frandamo@rm.dk