For many years, clinical and epidemiological observations have suggested that Hodgkin's disease was caused by an infectious agent. Current information has linked the Epstein-Barr virus and possible RNA viruses to human lymphoma, and improved laboratory techniques are now being applied in attempts to understand the exact role of these agents, if any, in the disease process. In this workshop we have concentrated on the present status of some of the newer epidemiological approaches to the etiology of Hodgkin's disease, such as case control studies and cluster analysis. In addition, the apparent effect of genetics, naturally and iatrogenically determined immunological abnormalities, and other factors are reviewed. In noting the large number of variables that must be analyzed in etiological studies it is our hope that, instead of being deterred by the welter of possibilities, the investigators in this field will be encouraged by the solid clues that are emerging from field and laboratory studies on Hodgkin's disease and will increase their collaborative efforts on the problem.
Presented at the International Symposium on Human Tumors Associated with Herpesvirus, March 26 to 28, 1973, Bethesda, Md.