A study looking at the causes of Hodgkin lymphoma

Cancer type:

Blood cancers
Children's cancers
Hodgkin lymphoma





In this study researchers wanted to look at the possible causes of Hodgkin lymphoma. The study was for children as well as adults. 

More about this trial

We don’t know exactly what causes Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). The researchers running this study wanted to look at blood samples and tissue samples (biopsies) taken from people with Hodgkin lymphoma to try and find out more. 
Researchers used the samples to look at the DNA and any viruses Open a glossary item people may have had.
The aims of this study were to find out:

Summary of results

This study recruited 231 people with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). The research team took blood samples from most of the people taking part. They also looked at lymph node samples that were taken at diagnosis, if they were available.
These samples, along with samples from people who took part in other trials, have been looked at by various research teams. They compared them to blood and tissue samples of people who don’t have HL. These are called the controls. The researchers wanted to try and find out more about what causes HL.
They have looked at a number of things. They are trying to find out why some people develop Hodgkin lymphoma and others don’t, and more about the best way to treat it. 
They have discovered a number of interesting things so far, including finding:
  • several new genes that may increase the risk of developing HL
  • out more about cells in the immune system called T cells, comparing lymph nodes of people with and without HL
  • the differences between the genes in HL that is associated with the Epstein Barr virus (EBV), and HL that isn’t
  • the proteins in HL cells which affect how the cells divide and grow
They also looked at other conditions that may be related to HL, including finding out:
  • more about the importance of the EBV in the development of HL
  • that the differences in how HL behaves depends on whether it is associated with EBV or not
  • that having the measles virus does not appear to be related to the development of HL 
  • that a group of viruses called polyomaviruses don’t appear to increase the risk of developing HL
Hodgkin lymphoma is a complex disease, and finding out about what makes it develop and grow takes a long time. Research teams from all over the world, including the UK, are working hard to find out more about it and help people who are diagnosed in the future.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Ruth Jarrett

Supported by

NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Glasgow

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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