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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatment

Treatment depends on the type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stage of disease and how fast it is likely to grow.

Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and monoclonal antibodies. In some cases, a stem cell transplant is required if the lymphoma has recurred or where there is a high likelihood of recurrence in the future.

Early Hodgkin disease is treated with combination chemotherapy plus local field radiation. Chemotherapy is usually ABVD - adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine. Advanced disease (stages IIB, III, IV) is treated with chemotherapy using ABVD or BEACOPP (bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine and prednisone). Radiotherapy may be required for bulky or non-responding sites.

For patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, some can be controlled with localised radiotherapy alone, or radiotherapy plus combination chemotherapy (CHOP - cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone or FCM - fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and mitoxantrone).

If the non-Hodgkin lymphoma is aggressive, successful treatment requires starting chemotherapy immediately - usually rituximab plus combination chemotherapy (for example CHOP). For early stage disease and advanced stages with bulky sites, involved field radiotherapy is usually required.

Cancer Council Australia can provide more information on cancer treatments through their website at www.cancer.org.au. They also offer support for you and your loved ones via their helpline on 13 11 20.

Sources: Cancer Council Australia (Lymphoma)

Last reviewed: September 2015

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