There are different types of treatment for children with
Different types of treatment are available for children with
treatments are standard
(the currently used treatment), and some are being
tested in clinical trials
. A treatment clinical trial is a research study
meant to help improve
current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with
. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the
standard treatment, the new
treatment may become the standard treatment.
Because cancer in children is rare, taking part in a clinical trial
should be considered. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.
Children with non-Hodgkin lymphoma should have their
treatment planned by a team of doctors with expertise in treating childhood
Treatment will be overseen by a
, a doctor who specializes
in treating children with cancer. The pediatric oncologist works with other health care providers
who are experts in treating children
with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and who specialize in certain areas of medicine
These may include the following specialists
Some cancer treatments cause side effects months or years
after treatment has ended.
from cancer treatment that begin during or after treatment and continue for months or years are called late effects
. Late effects of cancer treatment may include the following:
- Physical problems.
- Changes in mood, feelings, thinking, learning, or memory.
- Second cancers (new types of cancer).
Some late effects may be treated or controlled. It is important to talk with your child's doctors about the effects cancer treatment can have on your child. (See the PDQ
summary on Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer
for more information.)
Four types of standard treatment are used:Chemotherapy
is a cancer treatment that uses drugs
to stop the growth of cancer cells
, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected
into a vein
or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy
). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the cerebrospinal fluid
), an organ
, or a body cavity
such as the abdomen
, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas. Intrathecal
chemotherapy may be used to treat
childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has spread, or may spread, to the brain. When used to prevent cancer from spreading to the brain, it is called central nervous system (CNS) sanctuary therapy
or CNS prophylaxis. Intrathecal chemotherapy is given in addition to chemotherapy by mouth or vein.
The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage
of the cancer being treated.
See Drugs Approved for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma for more information.
(in certain patients)
High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant
This treatment is a way of giving high doses of chemotherapy
and then replacing blood
-forming cells destroyed by the cancer treatment. Stem cells
(immature blood cells) are removed from the bone marrow
or blood of the patient or a donor
and are frozen and stored. After the chemotherapy is completed, the stored stem cells are thawed and given back to the patient through an infusion
. These reinfused stem cells grow into (and restore) the bodyâ€™s blood cells.
See Drugs Approved for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma for more information.
Monoclonal antibody therapy
is a cancer treatment that uses antibodies
made in the laboratory from a single type of immune system
cell. These antibodies can identify substances on cancer cells or normal substances that may help cancer cells grow. The antibodies attach to the substances and kill the cancer cells, block their growth, or keep them from spreading. Monoclonal antibodies are given by infusion. They may be used alone or to carry drugs, toxins
, or radioactive
material directly to cancer cells. Rituximab
is used to treat recurrent
childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) block signals that tumors
need to grow. Some TKIs also keep tumors from growing by preventing the growth of new blood vessels
to the tumors. Other types of kinase
inhibitors, such as crizotinib
, are being studied for childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
See Drugs Approved for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma for more information.
New types of treatment are being tested in clinical
Information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web
Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial.
For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial
may be the best treatment choice. Clinical trials are part of the cancer research process. Clinical trials are done to find out if new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment
Many of today's standard treatments for cancer are based on earlier clinical trials. Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new treatment.
Patients who take part in clinical trials also help improve the way cancer will be treated in the future. Even when clinical trials do not lead to effective new treatments, they often answer important questions and help move research forward.
Patients can enter clinical trials before, during, or after starting their cancer treatment.
Some clinical trials only include patients who have not yet received treatment. Other trials test treatments for patients whose cancer has not gotten better. There are also clinical trials that test new ways to stop cancer from recurring
(coming back) or reduce the side effects
of cancer treatment.
Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. See the Treatment Options section that follows for links to current treatment clinical trials. These have been retrieved from NCI's
listing of clinical trials.
Follow-up tests may be needed.
Some of the tests that were done to diagnose
the cancer or to find out the stage
of the cancer may be repeated. Some tests will be repeated in order to see how well the treatment is working. Decisions about whether to continue, change, or stop treatment may be based on the results of these tests. This is sometimes called re-staging.
Some of the tests will continue to be done from time to time after treatment has ended. The results of these tests can show if your child's condition
has changed or if the cancer has recurred
(come back). These tests are sometimes called follow-up
tests or check-ups.
Treatment Options for Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Low-stage Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I childhood large cell lymphoma, stage I childhood small noncleaved cell lymphoma, stage I childhood lymphoblastic lymphoma, stage I childhood anaplastic large cell lymphoma, stage II childhood large cell lymphoma, stage II childhood small noncleaved cell lymphoma, stage II childhood lymphoblastic lymphoma and stage II childhood anaplastic large cell lymphoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
High-stage Childhood B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage III childhood large cell lymphoma, stage III childhood small noncleaved cell lymphoma, stage IV childhood large cell lymphoma and stage IV childhood small noncleaved cell lymphoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
High-stage Childhood Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage III childhood lymphoblastic lymphoma and stage IV childhood lymphoblastic lymphoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
High-stage Childhood Anaplastic Large-cell Lymphoma
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage III childhood anaplastic large cell lymphoma and stage IV childhood anaplastic large cell lymphoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
Recurrent Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
All patients with recurrent childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma should be considered for clinical trials
of new treatments.
Burkitt lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
- Combination chemotherapy.
- High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant.
- A clinical trial of targeted therapy (kinase inhibitor) with combination chemotherapy.
Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma
Lymphoproliferative Disease Associated with a Weakened Immune System
To Learn More About Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- What You Need to Know Aboutâ„¢ Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Computed Tomography (CT) Scans and Cancer
- Drugs Approved for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Bone Marrow Transplantation and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation
- Targeted Cancer Therapies
For more childhood cancer
information and other general cancer resources, see the following:
- Childhood Cancers
- CureSearch for Children's Cancer
- Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer
- Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer
- Young People with Cancer: A Handbook for Parents
- Cancer in Children and Adolescents
- Cancer Staging
- Coping with Cancer: Supportive and Palliative Care
- Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Cancer
- Cancer Library
- Information for Survivors/Caregivers/Advocates
Changes to This Summary (10/21/2014)
The PDQ cancer
information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as
new information becomes available. This section describes the latest
changes made to this summary as of the date above.
Editorial changes were made to this summary.
About This PDQ Summary
Physician Data Query (PDQ) is the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) comprehensive cancer information database. The PDQ database contains summaries of the latest published information on cancer prevention, detection, genetics, treatment, supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine. Most summaries come in two versions. The health professional versions have detailed information written in technical language. The patient versions are written in easy-to-understand, nontechnical language. Both versions have cancer information that is accurate and up to date and most versions are also available in Spanish.
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Purpose of This Summary
This PDQ cancer information summary has current information about the treatment of childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is meant to inform and help patients, families, and caregivers. It does not give formal guidelines or recommendations for making decisions about health care.
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Editorial Boards write the PDQ cancer information summaries and keep them up to date. These Boards are made up of experts in cancer treatment and other specialties related to cancer. The summaries are reviewed regularly and changes are made when there is new information. The date on each summary ("Date Last Modified") is the date of the most recent change.
The information in this patient summary was taken from the health professional version, which is reviewed regularly and updated as needed, by the PDQ Pediatric Treatment Editorial Board.
Clinical Trial Information
A clinical trial is a study to answer a scientific question, such as whether one treatment is better than another. Trials are based on past studies and what has been learned in the laboratory. Each trial answers certain scientific questions in order to find new and better ways to help cancer patients. During treatment clinical trials, information is collected about the effects of a new treatment and how well it works. If a clinical trial shows that a new treatment is better than one currently being used, the new treatment may become "standard." Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.
Clinical trials are listed in PDQ and can be found online at NCI's Web site. Many cancer doctors who take part in clinical trials are also listed in PDQ. For more information, call the Cancer Information Service 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
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National Cancer Institute: PDQÂ® Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Date last modified <MM/DD/YYYY>. Available at: http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/child-non-hodgkins/Patient. Accessed <MM/DD/YYYY>.
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