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Leuk Lymphoma. 2008;49 Suppl 1:35-42. doi: 10.1080/10428190802311425.

Epidemiology, pathology and treatment of non-follicular indolent lymphomas.

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  • 1National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-7236, USA.


Non-follicular indolent subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), which include chronic lymphocytic leukemia, small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) and marginal zone lymphomas (MZL), are a diverse group of disorders with different presenting features, behaviour patterns and treatment outcomes. Current knowledge of these subtypes is largely based on retrospective analyses. A precise diagnosis can be difficult to achieve, and specific diagnostic criteria are needed to more precisely define some of the rarer indolent tumors, such as nodal and splenic MZLs. Although some subtypes of NHL have a prolonged indolent course, with a good prognosis (e.g. SLL), others (e.g. nodal and splenic MZLs) can rapidly evolve into more aggressive subtypes. In asymptomatic patients, treatment may be deferred until the disease progresses and the patient becomes symptomatic. Universally accepted therapeutic guidelines do not exist, however, and carefully designed, prospective clinical studies are needed to further assess optimal therapeutic approaches for these indolent NHLs.

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