Pediatric Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune and lymph system. The lymph system is an important part of the immune system that filters waste, bacteria, and other harmful substances out of the body.

Hodgkin lymphoma

Hodgkin Lymphoma is a condition in which cancer cells form in the lymph system. The lymph system includes the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow and other sites.

Treating Hodgkin lymphoma in children

Hodgkin lymphoma in children is diagnosed by performing a lymph node biopsy. This is when a small amount of lymph tissue is removed and tested. 

If the test comes back positive, more tests will be done to see how far the cancer has spread. These tests may include:

  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • PET scan
  • Bone marrow biopsy

These tests are part of the staging process, which helps your doctor decide which treatment is best for your child.

Typical treatments include chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, in which medicines or radiation are used to attack the cancer. We offer access to cutting-edge clinical trials that are testing immunotherapy for select groups of children and young adults with Hodgkin lymphoma.

Survival and cure rates for Hodgkin lymphoma in children are excellent.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) is the name for a group of different kinds of cancerous growths that develop in the lymph system (part of the immune system that helps filter out waste and toxins). The growths may appear in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow and other sites. 

In NHL, the cancer cells develop from regular cells in the immune system. The most common types are called:

  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • Diffuse large B cell lymphoma
  • Lymphoblastic T cell or B cell lymphoma
  • Anaplastic large cell lymphoma

Treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children

Normally the first tests done to look for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children are ultrasound, CT scans and MRIs. These imaging studies look in the areas where your child is having symptoms.

The diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy, which is a procedure where a small amount of tissue is removed and examined.

Once a diagnosis is confirmed, a full examination is done to learn:

  • The scope of the disease
  • How long the disease has been affecting your child
  • How much of your child’s body is affected

These exams will help us stage the disease and decide on the best treatment for your child.

Our team of experts work together to treat your child and may include:

  • Oncologists (doctors who specialize in cancer medicine)
  • Radiation therapists
  • Surgeons who specialize in working with children

Combination chemotherapy (using different medicines together to attack the cancer cells) is the main treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children. We offer novel clinical trials including ones evaluating targeted therapies that are promising for the treatment of children with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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