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Lymphoma Treatment

If you have lymphoma, you will find the leading specialists you need at The University of Kansas Cancer Center. Our interdisciplinary team of oncologists and hematologists have years of experience treating people with all types of lymphoma.

Lymphoma treatment options

The most common treatment for lymphoma is a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy:

  • Chemotherapy uses medicines to destroy cancer cells. You may get 1 drug or several drugs in each treatment. You will usually get more than 1 treatment. Drugs are given in pill form (this is less common), or by injection or by vein. Chemotherapy is the main treatment for most types of lymphoma. There are many drugs that kill lymphoma cells. Your doctor will discuss the drugs and number of treatments you will get.
  • Radiation therapy uses high-dose X-rays to destroy cancer cells. As these cells die, swollen lymph nodes or the pain from an enlarged spleen goes away. Radiation treatments are given every day for a set number of treatments determined by your radiation doctor. Your doctor will discuss this information with you before you begin treatment.

Chemotherapy and radiation kill cancer cells and other fast-growing cells. However, some therapies are able to target and kill only specific lymphoma cells. Usually, these treatments do not damage healthy cells. The side effects for targeted therapies are quite different from those of traditional chemotherapy and radiation.

  • Targeted immunotherapy uses antibodies that attach directly to the lymphoma cells and cause them to die. This is called passive immunotherapy, because we create the antibodies in the laboratory; your body does not make them. Some of these antibodies also carry medications or radiation. When the antibodies attach, the medicine or radiation is delivered to the cell.
  • CAR T-cell therapy uses genetically modified T cells (immune system cells) to attack cancerous lymphoma cells.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend a blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant. Stem cells are cells in the bone marrow that make blood cells. These cells are often damaged by lymphoma. Your doctor will talk to you about a blood and marrow transplant (BMT) if this will be part of the treatment plan for your lymphoma.

Doctors at The University of Kansas Cancer Center have been performing blood and marrow stem cell transplants since 1977. We have the most experienced BMT specialists in the region. Our program is one of the largest in the country and is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. We also are a designated National Marrow Donor Program collection center.

Lymphoma clinical trials

Often people with lymphoma take part in clinical trials. Clinical trials are research studies to test medicines and treatments. If you are interested in learning about active clinical trials for lymphoma, please talk to your doctor.

Life after lymphoma

Surviving lymphoma is a lifelong process. You will need regular checkups and may also need help with the side effects of treatment. You may want to learn about lifestyle changes that can speed recovery and improve your quality of life.

Our experienced team of doctors, nurses, counselors, dietitians and research coordinators can help you:

  • Understand your treatment plan
  • Deal with complications
  • Monitor your overall health
  • Assess and manage side effects
  • Monitor for cancer recurrence
  • Give you access to clinical studies
  • Make diet and exercise recommendations

You also may wish to visit the Brandmeyer Patient Resource Center for more information.

Helpful websites to learn more about lymphoma include:

The University of Kansas Cancer Center does not assume responsibility for any of the information posted on these sites.

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More options, more hope

Many new therapies are available through clinical trials. Find out how you may benefit from a clinical trial, and what it can do for others.

Why join

Start your path today.

Your journey to health starts here. Use our online form to request an appointment at The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

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