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Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Any of a large group of cancers of lymphocytes (white blood cells). Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur at any age.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lymph system.

The lymph system is part of the immune system and is made up of the following:

Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lymph system....Read more about Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

High‐dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation in the first line treatment of aggressive Non‐Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) in adults

Aggressive Non‐Hodgkin's Lymphomas (NHLs) are fast growing forms of lymphoma. The most common type is a diffuse large B‐Cell lymphoma (DLCL) but there are several other subtypes of aggressive lymphoma and variants of DLCL, such as centroblastic, immunoblastic or anaplastic large B‐Cell lymphoma. Aggressive NHLs are generally responsive to conventional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In the 1980s, many researchers reported that some patients with diffuse, large‐cell lymphoma, who had not responded to conventional chemotherapy, could be cured with high‐dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell or bone marrow transplantation. This techniques may be used to treat the cancer, because the high doses of chemotherapy can destroy the patient's bone marrow. Therefore stem cells or marrow is taken from the patient before treatment. The marrow or the stem cells are then frozen, and the patient is given high‐dose chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy to treat the cancer. The marrow or the stem cells that were taken out is then thawed and given back through a needle in a vein to replace the marrow that was destroyed. This type of transplant is called an autologous transplant. If the marrow given is taken from another person, the transplant is called an allogeneic transplant.On the first decade of study into autologous transplantation for the treatment of aggressive lymphoma, the focus was on the use of this approach to rescue patients after relapse or if the disease already progressed under standard chemotherapy. These encouraging results in relapsed or progressive lymphoma led to the testing of the technique as a primary therapy for the disease. However, it was also important to identify factors that could predict outcome of the therapy for patients with aggressive lymphoma. The International Prognostic Index score (IPI) was established in 1993. This score was designed to better predict outcome of aggressive lymphoma. Based on the number of negative prognostic factors present at the time of diagnosis (age >60 years, stage III/IV disease, elevated lactate dehydrogenase [LDH] level, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group [ECOG] performance status > 2, more than one extranodal site of disease) four outcome groups (low‐risk, low‐intermediate risk, high‐intermediate risk and high‐risk ) were identified with a 5‐year overall survival ranging from 26% to 73%.

Meta-analysis on the efficacy and safety of R-CHOP chemotherapy for the treatment of low and moderate malignant B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Bibliographic details: Feng JJ, Yang LH, Chen JF, Ma YP, Ma LM, Lai XW.  Meta-analysis on the efficacy and safety of R-CHOP chemotherapy for the treatment of low and moderate malignant B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Journal of Leukemia and Lymphoma 2009; 18(4): 216-219

Effectiveness and safety of chemotherapy regimens represented by pirarubicin versus adriamycin hydrochloride for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in mainland China: a meta-analysis

Bibliographic details: Li H, Wang XD, Wang CS.  Effectiveness and safety of chemotherapy regimens represented by pirarubicin versus adriamycin hydrochloride for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in mainland China: a meta-analysis. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2013; 13(2): 176-181 Available from: http://www.cjebm.org.cn/en/oa/DArticle.aspx?type=view&id=20130209

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Summaries for consumers

Idelalisib (Zydelig) for non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Overview

Idelalisib (trade name: Zydelig) has been approved in Germany since September 2014 for the treatment of follicular lymphoma or chronic lymphatic leukemia.

High‐dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation in the first line treatment of aggressive Non‐Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) in adults

Aggressive Non‐Hodgkin's Lymphomas (NHLs) are fast growing forms of lymphoma. The most common type is a diffuse large B‐Cell lymphoma (DLCL) but there are several other subtypes of aggressive lymphoma and variants of DLCL, such as centroblastic, immunoblastic or anaplastic large B‐Cell lymphoma. Aggressive NHLs are generally responsive to conventional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In the 1980s, many researchers reported that some patients with diffuse, large‐cell lymphoma, who had not responded to conventional chemotherapy, could be cured with high‐dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell or bone marrow transplantation. This techniques may be used to treat the cancer, because the high doses of chemotherapy can destroy the patient's bone marrow. Therefore stem cells or marrow is taken from the patient before treatment. The marrow or the stem cells are then frozen, and the patient is given high‐dose chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy to treat the cancer. The marrow or the stem cells that were taken out is then thawed and given back through a needle in a vein to replace the marrow that was destroyed. This type of transplant is called an autologous transplant. If the marrow given is taken from another person, the transplant is called an allogeneic transplant.On the first decade of study into autologous transplantation for the treatment of aggressive lymphoma, the focus was on the use of this approach to rescue patients after relapse or if the disease already progressed under standard chemotherapy. These encouraging results in relapsed or progressive lymphoma led to the testing of the technique as a primary therapy for the disease. However, it was also important to identify factors that could predict outcome of the therapy for patients with aggressive lymphoma. The International Prognostic Index score (IPI) was established in 1993. This score was designed to better predict outcome of aggressive lymphoma. Based on the number of negative prognostic factors present at the time of diagnosis (age >60 years, stage III/IV disease, elevated lactate dehydrogenase [LDH] level, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group [ECOG] performance status > 2, more than one extranodal site of disease) four outcome groups (low‐risk, low‐intermediate risk, high‐intermediate risk and high‐risk ) were identified with a 5‐year overall survival ranging from 26% to 73%.

Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Terms to know

Lymph
The clear fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infections and other diseases. Also called lymphatic fluid.
Lymph Nodes
A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they store lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are located along lymphatic vessels. Also called lymph gland.
Lymphatic System
The tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infections and other diseases. This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels (a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells). Lymphatic vessels branch, like blood vessels, into all the tissues of the body.
Lymphocytes
A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system. There are two main types of lymphocytes: B cells and T cells. The B cells produce antibodies that are used to attack invading bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The T cells destroy the body's own cells that have themselves been taken over by viruses or become cancerous.
Lymphoma
Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system.

More about Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

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Also called: Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin malignant lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin's malignant lymphoma, NHL

See Also: Hodgkin Lymphoma, Primary Brain Lymphoma

Other terms to know: See all 5
Lymph, Lymph Nodes, Lymphatic System

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