This essay will critically explore the ABVD chemotherapy regime and its use in the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The principles of this regime and how it relates to the cell cycle will be discussed. The short and long term side effects will be presented but I will focus on fatigue, as a clear and relevant side effect on patients ongoing this treatment. The impact of the fatigue will be presented as well as its management with evidence based nursing interventions and complementary therapies used in this increasingly reported side effect.
Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) is a cancer of lymph tissue found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, and other sites. The disease is considered one of the most curable forms of cancer, especially if it is diagnosed and treated early. Unlike other cancers, HL disease is often very curable even in late stages. (A.D.A.M.Medical Encyclopedia, 2011). Hodgkin lymphoma, encompasses a group of lymphoid neoplasms characterized morphologically by the presence of distinctive cells called Reed Sternberg (RS) cells and/or its variants that induce the accumulation of reactive lymphocytes, histiocytes (macrophages) and granulocytes (Kumar et al., 2004; Makar et al., 2003; Rosai et al., 2004). It is thought that Reed-Sternberg cells are a type of white blood cell - a B-cell that has become cancerous. B-cells normally make antibodies to fight infection. Only about 1 in 5 of all lymphomas diagnosed (20%) are Hodgkin lymphoma. Just over 1600 people are diagnosed with HL in the UK each year (Macmillan cancer support, 2011).