Treatment advances in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

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Abstract

Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) encompass a heterogeneous group of lymphoid malignancies with varying natural histories and prognoses. Recent classifications for NHL have defined distinct lymphoma entities based on morphology, immunophenotype, genetic features, clonal cell lineage and clinical features. These new, more precise classifications and characterisations of NHL will be essential in developing new targeted therapies. However, for this brief review, we will continue describe NHL primarily as indolent or aggressive. Treatment options for patients with indolent, but generally incurable, lymphomas include a 'watch and wait' approach, single agent alkylators, nucleoside analogues, combination chemotherapy, immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies, radiolabelled monoclonal antibodies, or interferon (IFN). Vaccine therapy for indolent lymphomas is currently under intense investigation. For aggressive lymphomas, combination chemotherapy remains the standard of care. Major advances in the management of aggressive lymphomas include validation of the international prognostic index and clarification of the role of high-dose therapy with bone marrow or stem cell transplant in patients with relapsed aggressive lymphomas. Multiple randomised pilot trials of high dose therapy as initial therapy for aggressive lymphomas have shown conflicting results and await confirmatory studies. 2000

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-465
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Volume1
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000

Keywords

  • Chemotherapy
  • Interferon
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Rituximab

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