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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

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Treatment for Adult Lymphoblastic Lymphoma

    Lymphoblastic lymphoma is a very aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), which often occurs in young patients, but not exclusively. Lymphoblastic lymphoma is commonly associated with large mediastinal masses and has a high predilection for disseminating to bone marrow and the central nervous system (CNS). The treatment paradigms are based on trials for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) since lymphoblastic lymphoma and ALL are considered different manifestations of the same biologic disease. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment for more information.) Treatment is usually patterned after ALL. Intensive combination chemotherapy with CNS prophylaxis is the standard treatment of this aggressive histologic type of NHL. Radiation therapy is sometimes given to areas of bulky tumor masses. Since these forms of NHL tend to progress quickly, combination chemotherapy is instituted rapidly once the diagnosis has been confirmed.

    The most important aspects of the pretreatment staging workup include careful review of the following pathological specimens:

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    Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma

    Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) is a cancer that affects a type of white blood cell called a "lymphocyte," which helps your body fight infection. You may hear your doctor refer to SLL as a "non-Hodgkin's lymphoma," which is a group of cancers that affect lymphocytes. When you have SLL, too many broken lymphocytes live and multiply in your lymph nodes. These are pea-sized organs in your neck, groin, armpits, and elsewhere, that are part of your immune system. SLL tends to grow slowly. You may...

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    • Bone marrow aspirate.
    • Biopsy specimen.
    • Cerebrospinal fluid cytology.
    • Lymphocyte marker.

    Standard Treatment Options for Adult Lymphoblastic Lymphoma

    Standard Treatment Options for Adult Lymphoblastic Lymphoma include the following:

    1. Intensive therapy.
    2. Radiation therapy.

    (Refer to the PDQ summary on Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment for more information.)

    Intensive therapy

    Standard treatment is intensive combination chemotherapy with CNS prophylaxis.

    Radiation therapy

    Radiation therapy is sometimes given to areas of bulky tumor masses.

    Treatment Options Under Clinical Evaluation for Adult Lymphoblastic Lymphoma

    New treatment approaches are being developed by the national cooperative groups. Other approaches include the use of bone marrow transplantation for consolidation. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment for more information.)

    Current Clinical Trials

    Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with adult lymphoblastic lymphoma. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

    General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

      This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

      WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

      Last Updated: February 25, 2014
      This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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