In 1970, the University of Minnesota Hospitals instituted a policy for treatment of patients with stage I, II, and IIIA Hodgkin disease that required complete staging including laparotomy and extended field or total nodal radiation. Evaluation of the results of this policy in 1974 led to modifications of treatment based on analysis of disease recurrences. Since 1974, patients with large mediastinal masses or hilar disease have been treated with whole-lung or half-lung radiation. In addition, patients with stage IIIA disease with positive spleens were treated with liver irradiation. Sixty-five patients with Hodgkin disease treated with extended or total nodal fields and 126 patients treated with the radical radiation approach are evaluated. The use of this treatment modification has changed the prognostic factors and produced an improvement in recurrence-free survival that is statistically significant. The authors suggest that radical radiation therapy is the treatment of choice in patients with stage IA, IIA, or IIIA Hodgkin disease.