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Weill Cornell Cancer Center

Treatment of Lymphoma

Chemotherapy is the primary treatment for hematologic cancers, though some patients may receive radiation therapy as well and/or a transplant of stem cells or bone marrow.

The treatment of lymphoma depends on the type of lymphoma (Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin, aggressive or slow-growing), the patient's age and general health, and other factors. Patients may receive one or several of these treatment modalities:

  • Chemotherapy, often with a combination of drugs (such as cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Monoclonal antibody therapy such as rituximab (sometimes given with the drugs ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide) or tositumomab (a monoclonal antibody linked to radioactive iodine)
  • High doses of chemotherapy with a stem cell transplant (in which some of a patient's blood-forming cells are removed before chemotherapy and returned afterward to help the patient's immune system re-establish itself)
  • Vaccine therapy that provokes the patient's immune system to find and kill lymphoma cells

Weill Cornell offers highly comprehensive treatment for patients with lymphoma, with a variety of clinical trials for patients with every subtype and stage of disease. Our clinical researchers are exploring novel agents that target apoptosis (programmed cell death), the cell cycle, cell signaling pathways, immunologic pathways, and angiogenesis (the development of blood vessels that tumors need to grow and spread), with the goal of improving patient survival while decreasing side effects.

Weill Cornell has also been a leading center in:

  • The development of the monoclonal antibodies that are now routinely used to treat lymphoma, such as rituximab and tositumomab, as well as the investigational drug epratuzumab.
  • The assessment of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning to predict prognosis.
  • The use of observation and delayed therapy for mantle cell lymphoma, sparing many patients from the side effects of more intensive standard therapies that may not be beneficial to them.

Physician-scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College discovered a molecular mechanism that may prove to be a powerful target for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. By exploiting this mechanism, researchers were able to suppress tumor formation in laboratory studies using a compound called PU-H71, which works by inhibiting a "heat shock protein."

Clinical Trials

Patients at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center have access to innovative therapies through clinical trials.

Find a lymphoma clinical trial at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center.

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