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Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®)

Health Professional Version

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:

  • 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:

(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.

  • Updated: December 5, 2014