Meta-analyses have followed some of the most important advances in the treatment of early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). In this review, details on all meta-analyses of patients with early-stage HL are discussed. In 1990, the first meta-analysis addressing patients with early-stage HL compared radiotherapy alone to combined-modality treatment (CMT). It was followed in 1998 by an individual-patient meta-analysis examining the role of radiotherapy with and without chemotherapy. In 2006, a comprehensive meta-analysis focusing on the risk of secondary malignancies, including most of the treatment regimens analyzed in clinical trials, was issued. The final analysis was published 2010 and provides important information for the ongoing discussion concerning the role of CMT compared to chemotherapy alone and is therefore discussed in more detail. In addition, the methodology and reporting of meta-analyses have improved over time.

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